The Red Deer Boxing Club needs you!
The club is one of 20 communities in Canada that made it to the finals of the Kraft and TSN Kraft Celebration tour.
The contest now matches two communities against each other.
The community receiving the most votes will receive a $25,000 “Community Refresh” which goes to completely refurbishing the Red Deer Boxing Club, a youth oriented non-profit organization.
Red Deer is up against Edmonton for the grant.
Red Deer Boxing Club coach Steve Boissoin is concerned that Red Deer is up against a city 10 times its size, but he feels the community spirit and support in Red Deer will be an equalizing factor.
“The Red Deer Boxing Club will be up against a group in Edmonton and we need your vote,” said Boissoin. “We need you to vote and to get all of your family and friends vote for us.
“Red Deer is the provincial hub of amateur sports and home to the Alberta Sports Hall of Fame. Our passion is illustrated in the diversity and number of participants and sport organizations within our community.”
The Red Deer Boxing club has been a huge part of that sports community producing four Canadian National Champions — Brad Smith, Arash Usmanee, Sleman Usmanee and Cam O’Connell, and two Ringside World Champions in Arash Usmanee and O’Connell.
“Boxing is the reason I have been successful in achieving my goals in life,” said O’Connell.
“I’ve not only become a world champion boxer at the young age of 18, but boxing has also taught me how to grow from just another troubled youth to a champion in my adult life.”
Over one-third of Canadian children cannot afford to participate in sports in Canada.
The Red Deer Boxing Club is by far one of the most affordable athletic alternatives in Red Deer.
Initials fees are $100 and after that $30 per month.
If a family cannot afford the cost, the club allows them to participate through fundraising in lieu of the fees.
If a participant cannot afford equipment, all equipment, except for a $6 mouthguard, is supplied by the club. No athlete is turned away because of financial difficulties.
There are between seven to 10 competitive boxers on any given training night along with more than 30 other participants who are there for self-defence, and fitness.
“For 20 years, the boxing club and currently six volunteer coaches have encouraged local kids to participate and combine athleticism, physical and mental conditioning, sportsmanship, discipline and self-worth,” said the coach.
The club is extremely busy, but its current home and equipment is in dire need of being upgraded.
“The original boxing ring, punching bags and equipment is in need of replacement,” said Boissoin. “As is the hard tile floors, damaged mirrors and inadequate change rooms.”
There will be one community face-off per day where Canadians will be able to vote for their favourite community between the two communities featured that day. Audiences may only vote on-line at www.TSN.ca/kraftcelebrationtour or www.votereddeer.com.
Voting between Red Deer and Edmonton behgins Wednesday at noon and closes Thursday at 11:59 a.m.
There is no limit to the amount of times you can vote. They will announce the winner on July 16.