The Sunshine Coast Boxing Club has relocated to Coast Martial Arts at 700 Venture Way in Gibsons.
Forced to leavetheir Chamberlain Road location of three years due to a rent increase, the boxers were faced with shutting down until a newhome for the boxing club was found.
Fortunately, Coast Martial Arts owner Shawn Phillips heard of the boxers' plight and made arrangements for them to train out of his facility Monday to Thursdays from 7:30 to 9 p.m. That training started in December.
"It is a pleasure to trainin Coast Martial Arts' large, bright, clean, well-equipped and centrally located gym," said club spokesman Rick Shannon. "We cleaned and painted that old shed [on Chamberlain Road] the best we could, but could never make it attractive enoughfor most people to stay membersfor long."
In the Coast Martial Arts facility the situation has rapidly become positive. The competitive boxing team has been able to keep training, andnew members to the club are enjoying the boxing instruction and the gym.
The club has restructured its management as well.
Shannon, the club's founder, has stepped down as manager. George Vourtsis and Randy Hollett are running the club as well as coaching and training for their own fights.
The club is excited to introduce new coach Michael Storey. Storey, who recently moved to the Sunshine Coast, isaformer member of the Canadian national boxing team. Storey won many boxing titles while based out of Alberta.
Shannon said that as a coach Storey is organized, energetic and clear in his instructions.
"I want to give back to the Sunshine Coast by coaching amateur boxing," said Storey.
Shannon will remain with the club in an advisory capacity. His main focus in boxing will be as referee and head official at Combsport boxing events, with his wife Kathy acting as boxing results recorder and photographer for Combsport.
Shannon has been a national level qualified amateurboxing referee for a number of years and this past fall underwent training through the International Professional Ring Officials organization. He is nowlicensed to referee professional boxing.
"I will continue to referee, lead and instruct boxing officials in our amateur association, this is my passion," Shannon said. "When I am hired to referee professional boxing, hopefully in Langley in March, it will be a dream come true to be involved in pro sport."
Coast boxing fans can look forward to Saturday, April 26for the War On The Shore II amateur boxing event at the Gibsons and Area Community Centre.
For more details on the club, contact Hollett at 604-989-5180or Coast Martial Arts at 778-462-2292.
© Coast Reporter