They will come from across the country, and a few from outside the United States, and from April 14-16 at the most famous boxing gym on the planet, all the people participating in the all-female clinic at Gleason's Gym in DUMBO, Brooklyn will get a massive dose of the character-building qualities the sport serves up.
Most will be new to the sport, persons looking to add something to their life, and Gleason's chief Bruce Silverglade tells me that every year since he started the series five years ago, they've most all succeeded.
It is open to any age female, and culminates on April 16 with a session of matches involving the clinic participants. They will be tutored along the way by aces Alicia Ashley, Sonya Lamonakis, Jackie Atkins and Heather Hardy. The crew will get time with each teacher, soak up elements from each trainer.
Newbies will, if history is an indicator, have questions like: what will happen when I get hit? And so many will be coming to Brooklyn to answer questions like that, but deeper existential ones as well, ones about their reason for being on this earth, and their ability to accept and master a challenge two steps out of their comfort zones.
I asked Sonya Lamonakis, who fights professionally, about why she is so deeply involved in the sport. “Boxing did not save my life, it enhanced my life and helped me grow into a better person,” she told me. “I'm happy now that I'm able to give back to the sport as the vice president of USA Boxing Metro and to get to the future generations in boxing.
“I want them to understand,” she said of the women who will be coming to the clinic, “that even though the sport is a man-dominated sport that women can be very successful and get a lot from it. Also, that if you're in it for the money you're in it for the wrong reasons because boxing for women is about building self-confidence, building character and exposing you to part of the world you never knew existed. It's also about helping you accomplish things that you never knew you had inside you.”
Current WBC super bantamweight champ Alicia Ashley, age 48, said she's been proud to be involved in the clinic from its inception.
“Unless I'm away competing I will continue sharing my knowledge with the participants,” she said. “The women who participated have benefited in many ways but leave mainly with a feeling of sisterhood and camaraderie. Even though they generally end up competing against someone they've spent two days training with, they still helped each other on their journey.”
Hardy, the best known female pro boxer in the country, finished with her take on what the sport has done for her. “Boxing helped me through some of the hardest times of my life. The discipline, the ups and downs, the strength, skill, hard work and dedication required for success in the sport,” the WBC international super bantam champ said, “mirrors the discipline and fortitude you should have in all aspects of life.”
My take: it seems to me the minimal investment people can make to be part of the clinic can pay immense dividends which make it more than worth it.
Here is info on how to get involved, and mini bios on the instructors:
Gleason's Gym will host the sixth annual All Female Clinic and boxing show.
The cost of the Clinic is $369.00.
If you are interested please contact Bruce Silverglade at (718) 797-2872 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
The boxing show will be at Gleason's Gym on April 16
All our bouts are sanctioned by USABoxingMetro. All boxers must have their boxing book with them in order to participate.
If you wish to compete, please contact our matchmaker Jieun Lee at email@example.com. All matchmaking is done by email.
ALICIA ASHLEY “DIVA’s Deadly Defense”
Three time World Champion, 3 time Golden Glove Champion, 2 time Amateur National Champion, World Combat League Kickboxing Champion: “My training method consists of a lot of defensive techniques. Everyone knows how to punch, you have to learn not to get hit.”
SONYA LAMONAKIS – “Body, Body, Body”
“THE SCHOLAR” LAMONAKIS is 5-0 as a professional fighter; 4 Golden Gloves titles
Sonya has successfully melded her scholarly pursuits, including a Bachelor's and Master's degree, with a SPARTANlifestyle as a professional boxer. She is in a very real sense, both Athenian and Spartan.
JACKIE ATKINS – “Mighty “MEAN” Mitts”
USA Amateur Boxing Executive Board, 2004 National Kick Box Champion, 2008 National GG Master Champion, 2010 & 2011 Ringside World Champion; “Boxing truly has given me the opportunity to touch and positively impact many youth, giving them guidance, giving love, embracing them and allowing them to see the goodness, strengths and talents God has blessed each of them with. It has helped in providing a sense of family to those without that.
HEATHER HARDY “Move it.. Move it”
2011 Regional Champion USA Boxing, 2011 Regional Champion WKA (Kickboxing), 2011 NY Golden Glove Finalist (Silver); “Boxing teaches us to dig deep within and find strength in your heart when your mind and body have nothing left. I’ve learned to take this with me outside the ring as well, and it's changed my entire outlook on life..nothing seems impossible. I am proud to be able to show my daughter by example that even though I'm little, I'm strong and confident and just by knowing who I am and what I can endure…that makes me larger than life.”