Wednesday, 17 August 2011 16:09

Kucik quits, Swift Current Boxing Club's future in jeopardy

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By Chris Jaster — This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

A difficult year for the Swift Current Boxing Club has become a lot worse.

In February, the club was forced out of its previous home at the Swift Current Mall. Now, it’s without a coach.

After four years of travelling from Ponteix to coach Swift Current boxers, Mike Kucik has decided he no longer wants to make the 200-kilometre round trip twice a week.

“I’m 70 years old now, so it’s time to slow down,” said Kucik.

For the last four years, Kucik has been working to build up the club’s reputation in the community as an organization to train serious, competitive boxers since it split off from the Friendship Centre’s boxing club.

As the club grew in popularity, Kucik found he didn’t have as many members who were taking the activity serious enough to go to competitions.

He stuck with the club, however, so he could train Mackenzie Mason. An injury to Mackenzie last season forced him to retire from boxing, prompting Kucik to leave the club this year.

Kucik often told Tammy Mason, the club’s president and Mackenzie’s mother, he would leave the club after Mackenzie quit, so it wasn’t a huge shock to her that he will now only train boxers who travel to Ponteix. That, however, didn’t make it any easier for her to hear the news.

“It wasn’t an overly big shock, but very disappointing because he’s a wonderful man and we’re going to miss him,” said Mason.

Kucik’s departure is leaving the Swift Current Boxing Club in an even bigger bind. Without a place to train boxers and without a coach, the organization’s future is currently in limbo.

Members of the club are meeting at a boxing windup Saturday where they will determine whether they want to pursue a new coach or how to disperse the club’s remaining funds.

Mason, who has been with the club for the last four years, knows it will be difficult to fold the club, especially since she put so much work into building its reputation in the city.

“We fought so hard to get it up and going on its own and the hardest part is our pride, more than anything, is hurt,” she said. “We had good attendance from both young and old (people in their 20s and 30s), but we had a good group of people together. The older ones wanted to work with the younger ones and to lose Mike is hard.

“He has become like a second father to me. We spent a lot of time with him and separating from the Friendship Centre took a huge hit on our membership, so to start from scratch, we spent a lot of time pumping it up and getting kids to come. Then to have Mike leave, and by no means are there no hard feelings, it’s very sad.”

Although the club is currently without a coach and a home, it’s not completely dead yet.

If someone is willing to become the club’s new coach, Mason is confident they can get organized, find a new place to train boxers and operate during the 2011-12 season.

“If somebody was interested in becoming a coach we would definitely find a place,” she said.

“Knowing our past history, we would have no problem having somebody help us out find a place, but without a coach, there’s no point in searching too hard because there wouldn’t be anybody to teach the kids.”

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