Daniel Ketchelos – Staff Writer
Following their passion for hooks, jabs, and uppercuts, students Abraham Vasquez and Alex Vaughn are leading the recently approved Dordt University Boxing Club. Through this club, students will learn boxing techniques and gain access to new equipment to use for training.
“I thought it was going to be very difficult [to approve the club] because it is not a friendly sport,” Vasquez, co-founder of the boxing club, said. “Since we are in a Christian college, I know some people have the wrong idea about boxing, and they think that the purpose of boxing is fighting, but our purpose is to train and to improve our own skills when it comes to boxing without sparring.”
Equipment purchased for the boxing club will also be available to other clubs. Students who are in the boxing club and other martial arts clubs will have access to the space.
“We wanted to have a space full of equipment for people who are interested in boxing,” Vasquez said. “It can also be used for other students who are interested in martial arts as a space to keep practicing and improving in their sport.”
The idea for boxing club originated from Abraham Vasquez and Vaughn’s interest in the sport, and wanting to have a space on campus to practice their hobby.
“The club started with us talking with Student Government and the Rec Center to buy a few boxing bags and other equipment,” Vasquez said. “We thought it would be nice to have a few punching bags to train by ourselves, but after talking with Student Government, we grew more interested in creating a club to share the things we know about boxing.”
Student Government approved the boxing club on March 21. The club faced challenges in the approval process, including prohibiting members from sparring with one another to prevent head trauma.
“They brought us an initial proposal, and there wasn’t any resounding opposition, so we approved them as a club.” Vice President of Student Government Trey Engen said. “Two weeks ago, we approved their funding request and partially funded them because of budgetary constraints.”
The approved budget will go to buying equipment, such as punching bags and gloves. The club is still searching for an official space to host training and equipment, with options in the Rec Center being discussed.
“There were a couple of options for rooms that we had,” Vasquez said. “One of the options was the dance room, but we didn’t want to take space from other sports teams, such as the dance team. Hopefully, at the beginning of next semester, we’ll agree with the new director of the Rec Center on a place for all the equipment.”
The boxing club will also feature faculty guidance from Student Success Coach Alex Vasquez. He has been boxing since a young age and is passionate about leading students in this new area.
“Boxing, when it’s done well, is a great way to stay in shape, and I want to be an advocate,” Alex Vasquez said. “It’s a great way to train and build bonds with the people you work out with.”
Abraham Vasquez has trained in boxing for over two years. He wants to encourage seeing boxing as a sport for personal development, while learning to box safely.
“We’re not trying to make people more violent; we’re just trying to have a space for people to practice the sport of boxing,” Abraham Vasquez said. “Some people are not able to manage their feelings when boxing, and the last thing we want at the boxing club is for someone to get hurt. So, we understand why sparring isn’t approved.”
Boxing will allow students to branch out from typical sports. Students who aren’t interested in playing intramurals like basketball, volleyball, or soccer may find boxing more appealing.
“Students are seeking new skills and ways to engage with one another, and I think that boxing will help bring that,” Alex Vasquez said. “Students are looking for different things, some are good at sports, and they do intramurals, but not everybody is great at those types of sports, and I think boxing will be a great way to find confidence.”
The club will begin meeting during the first few weeks of the Fall 2022 semester.