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Monday, 13 February 2017 13:01

Special Areas boxing card re-launched with one big change

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A major sporting event is making a return to Special Areas after being on hiatus since April 2013.On March 25, the Joel Kelts Memorial Boxing Card takes place and the previous cards’ organizer is back, ready to lead a group of boxers, albeit green ones, back into the ring.

When Trevor Kellington suspended the Acadia Valley Diamondback Boxing Club four years ago, as well as the annual boxing card he held on an extremely successful basis, he probably never expected to be leading a boxing club again.
Work, family and time commitments made it difficult to juggle everything. He stepped away from his beloved club – thus folding it.
A while ago, Kellington was invited to judge some boxing at a card in Spruce Grove and there it went: ‘Ding!’ of the bell and he was back in the boxing ring corner.
Coupled with the fact for the last two years he has been asked about re-igniting the boxing club and in September 2016 Acadia Valley was busy with the sounds of the shuffling of feet, the thumps of the heavy bag being hit and the smooth ratta-tat-tat of the speed bag.
“There I am, I’m by myself starting from scratch,” explains Kellington, who notes there are a couple of second generation boxers participating which is kind of a different feeling. “It was the end of September we started up. Some parents were calling me; some kids were calling me. So we’re doing it again. It’s two nights a week and weekends.”
There were 32 who registered and there are 15 to 16  out consistently.
He gets some help on occasion from a couple of former club members including his son Tegan and Mark Sturm. There are some participants who want to compete and then there are others who are just out strictly for the exercise.
Kellington says he has those in various levels of physical shape and athleticism, but no matter what the conditioning, Kellington says they all will agree boxing is a difficult discipline as it is physically and mentally challenging.
“I rodeoed a lot and boxing is a lot like competing in rodeo, it’s a very lonely experience,” says Kellington noting it’s all on the competitor and no one else.
On March 25, the boxing card named in memory of a former boxer of the club, will see Kellington’s charges who range in age from 10 to 41 years, battle. Kellington doesn’t have the card finalized, but he does his best to get all of his members fights who want to and he thinks are ready.
One significant change to the card from previous years is location. In the past it has been held at the Oyen Legion, and while Kellington says it was the perfect venue for the event as far as seating goes and the quality of the service and help they got, the March 25 card will be at the Acadia Valley Arena.
Kellington says it’s easier for those cooking because it is a supper card, just to make it in Acadia Valley as opposed to prepare the food for hundreds of people and transport it north the more than 30 kms  on Highway 41 to Oyen.
More details will emerge in the weeks ahead. In the meantime, Kellington took some boxers to an event in Medicine Hat Feb. 4 and will travel to Leader Feb. 11.

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Ryan Dahlman

Managing Editor