By Rachael Krishna –
With rugby varsity shockingly cancelled the KCL calendar seemed painfully bare. Where will we go for sport? Where will we go for entertainment? Where can we watch a brilliant fight? Ladies and Gents, our prayers have been answered.
On the 13th March 2013 KCL will be treated to the first ever London boxing varsity, an event put on by KCL amateur boxing, that promises to fill our varsity void and more. Think of it as a varsity where the fights take place in the ring. It will put King’s up against opponents from UCL, Imperial and Cambridge with potential for this list to grow. Freddie Ellery, the club’s event secretary behind varsity invited me down to a training session to see how the club was preparing two weeks before the event.
I must state that prior to meeting the club, my knowledge of boxing was rather minimal; I’ve seen a couple of the Rocky films and have sat through Raging Bull, though the latter somewhat scarred me for life. I had no idea what to expect as I was led into Rooney’s, a boxing gym a stones throw from Guy’s campus and one of the many homes of the club. I was quickly greeted by the sight of a rather bloody Rob Prince. He assured me that his freshly reshaped nose wouldn’t start hurting until tomorrow. I quickly learnt about the intensity of the sport. Namely that the club train frequently and everywhere, ‘Mondays is sprint training, Wednesday is technique and sparring, Fridays technique and conditioning. Sundays technique and sparring. We try and do three sessions of running, though we’re looking to increase this.’ On top of this many of those competing in the varsity have transformed their diets, cutting out alcohol and late nights in order to be in peak form for the 13th. Freddie tells me that all those competing have been given personal training plans. I look over to a rather exhausted Rob and can do nothing but applaud.
However it isn’t all Raging Bull style mirror staring and 5 am runs, the boxing club have a playful side, summed up by Rob, ‘I just love skipping!’ He assures me after having fixed his nose, ‘and we get to pick our walk on music.’ Walk on music? I think I am slightly falling in love with this event, and society.
As the training session begins the team skip around the gym, demonstrating speed and flexibility that would reduce KCL running and dance soc to pure envy. Club president Kat and Freddie both sing the praises of the sport ‘Anyone can take part in boxing. At varsity we’re gonna have a range of weight classes as well as both female and male fights.’ ‘Boxing is amazing fitness, there is no body type, it’s the most fun you can have with gloves on.’ I’m sure some Walkabout regulars would disagree…
Varsity will be the culmination of 6 months of training for the competitors. Some fighters only took up the sport this year, a huge testament to how versatile and inclusive the sport is. All the boxers need now is a crowd to cheer them on the night.
Varsity boxing is on the 13th March 2013 at the Coronet. The event info and tickets can be bought here. https://www.facebook.com/events/418563861567846/