At its heart, boxing is a sport about discipline. The discipline to wake up as early as 6am to train, to push your mind and body again and again in a continual drive to overcome the exhaustion and sweat and tears telling you to stop. It is to never allow yourself to give up. When you fall down, you get up again, and when you feel like you can’t fight the strain, you pick yourself up and fight some more. It is also the discipline to practice those three punches; straight, hook, uppercut, again and again and again, to etch it into your body’s memory so that you do it perfectly, even under the pressure that facing an opponent brings. And last but not least, boxing is to give it all to defeat your opponent, but to always shake hands in mutual respect after every fight.
Sadly it is not discipline, strength of body and mind or technical perfection that seems to come to the minds of those who hear that I’m a boxer. Instead it’s as though violence, blood, and aggression are the words that many people associate with boxing. You may have heard of out-of-ring brawls and hostile interviews between competitors. Boxing films such as Rocky Balboa movies (while very entertaining) often give credence to this side. But all of these fireworks and showmanship isn’t what boxing is about, which is something each and every member of our club could tell you about.
Our Boxing Club has several competitive members taking part in the British Universities and College Sports (BUCS) boxing competition, as well as the Scottish National championships. On the 21st of February our Captain is going down to Sheffield to compete for Gold in the University Championships. However, you don’t need to compete to train hard; Every single St Andrews student who comes to our trainings come to push their own limits and get further than they did the last session. We all share a common desire to overcome our own boundaries, and I feel proud to train alongside such impressive individuals.
Though competing yourself is by no means a requirement, everyone is welcome to come see our own fighters give their very best, here, in St Andrews, on the 17th of April at Fight Night. It will be held in Venue 1 of the Union and it is a charity competition, with the majority of the proceeds from the event and all of the proceeds from the raffle going to local charity Families First.
If you would like to discover for yourself what boxing is really about, our training times are Wednesday and Friday from 7.30-9.00am and Sunday from 10.30am-12pm. Those with morning lectures leave training at 8.30am so no need to worry about potential schedule conflicts. The club membership fee is £20 for the semester. All of these details aside, this article is really a call to all of you out there who want to see just how far you can go. Everyone in the club want to help you push yourself past your own limits, and help you develop that strength of body and mind that is key to success in any enterprise in life.