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Lochaber Phoenix Boxing Club welcomed a few new faces to their
Corpach Gym last Sunday when members of Caithness Boxing Club
and Highland Boxing Academy joined local boxers for a day of sparring.
All three clubs have entrants in the forthcoming Scottish Novice Championships to be held in Motherwell over the next two weekends where they will face competitors from across the country, each with their eyes set on reaching the finals and medal glory.
To expand their experience in competition with boxers they may never have met before, everyone tries as much as possible to get in the ring with different opponents prior to the main event.
This is to make them aware of and help them identify and react to the subtle differences in technique and stances used by other boxers, rather than growing used only to those of club mates.
Like so many other activities, Covid restrictions have severely limited the ability of groups to engage with others in the sport. This is especially true in the Highlands where visiting the nearest club can mean a round trip of more than 150 miles, while in the central belt they are much closer together.
Lochaber Phoenix head coach Vince Lopez said: ‘It is a real advantage to give our boxers the opportunity to pit their skills against others from different clubs. They can learn a lot from this.
‘We would normally have been away quite a few times by now in preparation for the Scottish Novice Championships but that hasn’t been possible due to Covid. We have been up to Inverness recently and it is really great to have them and the guys from Caithness come to our gym.
‘I know it will be really beneficial to everyone who was here to have had this session.’
Until a few weeks ago it wasn’t even certain these championships would be going ahead as no-one could predict the Covid regulations in place on the suggested dates. However, most clubs have been preparing for it and working within regulations in the hope it would not be cancelled.
Since its creation, the Lochaber club has shown the quality of talent and coaching in its small catchment area by bringing home many awards from these and other championship events and is aiming to make sure this continues.
Photograph: Boxers from Caithness and Inverness travelled to the Lochaber Phoenix Gym in Corpach for a day of sparring in preparation for the forthcoming Scottish Novice Championships. Photograph: Iain Ferguson, alba.photos. NO_F05_Boxing_LochaberPhoenix_Sparring