Get ready, West Shore! From April 23- 27, the Westin Bear Mountain Resort will be hosting the 2019 Super Channel Championships in their newly-constructed tennis courts.
There will be two rings under a dome in 21,000 sq. feet of space. It’s an event for Canada’s top open boxers from the ages of 15 to 39 competing for a place on Canada’s National Team. The last time Boxing B.C. hosted this competition in BC was in Richmond in 2009. So, momentum is high. I spoke with Colleen Bourassa, Executive Director of Boxing BC to get a perspective on amateur boxing and how events like the Super Channel Championships support young BC boxers coming up in the ranks.
Q: Colleen, I love watching all kinds of sports. Yet, I’ve never understood the appeal of boxing. Enlighten me!
A: I love to watch amateur boxing because I know the people involved. That’s the appeal for me and for most people: watching family or friends in the ring. It’s an affordable family event, too. I want to say that amateur boxing is not about promoting violence. It’s about young people training very hard to achieve a phenomenal level of fitness. That develops great determination, respect and mental fortitude.
Q: Are there many young women in the competition?
A: There are fewer weight classes in the Olympics for women than there are for men. Women compete, but there are fewer women [overall]. It’s harder to interest women in this sport because there are no female role models in the spotlight. To draw women to the sport, you need women in the sport.
Q: How big is this 2019 Super Channel event?
A: Big! We’re proud to have BC athletes back on Team Canada for their second and third years. Some were gold medalists in their youth and now are competing again as adults. They all had to prevail at the Provincial level to be selected for BC’s HighPerformance Team. The goal is to win and earn a spot on a Canada’s National Team, and from there, start competing internationally. If they win at an Olympic qualifying event, they get a shot at the Tokyo Olympics, 2020!
Q: Wow! Anybody in the game who could get that far?
A: What’s really exciting is that we have several boxers who have won spots on Team Canada in the last couple of years, such as: Eric Basran from Surrey who is in his third year on the National Team. He was the “winningest boxer in Canada” in 2018. At the age of 18, he won his first national gold medal. Last year, he competed in the Commonwealth Games and won a bronze. He won the medal boxing against older, more experienced boxers from around the world. It was an amazing accomplishment! Robert Couzens from Vancouver won a place on National Team last year. He’d won gold as a youth. He won a gold as an adult in 2018 and has fought in several international boxing cards this year. Bryan Colwell from Colwood, is another local athlete, who won his place on National Team in 2017 and 2018 as a heavy weight.