Article By: Kaitlyn Clark, National Team Athlete Rep
With a little more than 5 months to go before the start of the 2020ne Tokyo Olympics, Team Canada Boxers are regrouping in Montreal to begin a series of monthly training camps and test matches – the first of which takes place this week.
This coming Thursday, February 11th, 6 of Canada’s Olympic hopefuls will engage in test matches to simulate their first competition in almost a year. The match-ups see Boxing Ontario’s Justin Parina back in action in what will surely be an action packed test-bout in the men’s 52kg division.
Officials across Canada, including 55 Boxing Ontario Officials, have been given an opportunity to shake the dust off their judging skills, as well. A group of officials will be distance scoring the test matches over an online video platform; this is an excellent opportunity for our officials to both test themselves and to have an opportunity to score high-quality bouts.
“We will be in need of Officials at ALL LEVELS to help with supplying scores for the various bouts for both the purposes of the athletes’ development as well as the analysis of our officials scoring. Boxing Canada will be launching an Officials Database in which we will utilize the involvement and activity of our officials to book for future assignments,” says Boxing Ontario President and Provincial Chief Official, Jennifer Huggins.
Next week, beginning February 15th, the Olympic Pathway Boxers from Boxing Ontario, headed by 2016 Olympian Mandy Bujold, will be traveling to Montreal to take part in a two week training camp. The camp will see the athletes undergo fitness testing, various technical training sessions, and be capped off with test matches similar to the ones happening this coming week.
This being the first opportunity for the entire Canadian Olympic Pathway team to get together and train in the same facility in over a year is both exciting and hope-inspiring. Mandy Bujold is excited to begin the next phase on her road to Tokyo, “With the Olympics quickly approaching, it’ll be nice to come together as a team for the first time in 2021 as we prepare for the qualifiers ahead.”
Boxing Ontario is proud of our Olympic Pathway Athletes and is wishing all the best to Mandy Bujold, Justin Parina, John-Michael Bianco, and Jaquan Carty as they head to Montreal to start the next phase on the Road to Tokyo 2020ne. “We are in your corner and are excited to support you on this most amazing journey,” states High Performance Committee Chair, Jill Perry.
With the kick-off of these monthly camps for our Olympic Pathway Athletes, Boxing Ontario is hopeful and anticipatory that a return to competition plan will be activated in the coming months. While the gyms across Ontario may still be closed for a few weeks, the training doesn’t need to stop. There are various gyms offering online boxing classes every week. Take advantage of these classes as it is a great opportunity to get exposed to different coaches, from across the province, that you normally wouldn’t be able to work with. Follow us on Instagram @BoxingOntario to remain up-to-date on the return to training and competition plans, the status of our Olympic Pathway Athletes in Montreal, and keep tagging us in your training videos!