A Parksville boxing program for people with Parkinson’s disease has been named Affiliate of the Month by the organization Rock Steady Boxing.
Rocky Steady Boxing is a worldwide program with more than 700 affiliates around the world that aims to improve the quality of life for people with Parkinson’s disease through a non-contact boxing based fitness curriculum.
Rock Steady Boxing Oceanside opened its doors two years ago after founder Don Reid went to Indianapolis to take a two-day training course. Once he returned home, he began organizing trainers for the Parksville program.
“I got back to town and started interviewing personal trainers,” Reid said. “After about almost a year I ran into Doug Pickard (current Rock Steady Boxing Oceanside trainer) and I knew as soon as I talked to him that he was the right guy for the job. I sent him off to Indianapolis and he sent me a one word email when he was taking the course, he just said ‘amazing,’ and since then we opened the doors.”
Reid said since Rocky Steady Boxing Oceanside opened, it has helped many local people with Parkinson’s.
“I was at the Parkinson’s support meeting two weeks ago and this woman came up to me and said ‘I want to thank you personally for bringing this program up here,’” Reid said. “She said ‘I just want to let you know when my husband started at this program he was in wheelchair, he’s now walking with canes.”
Reid said other than physical benefits for people with Parkinson’s, the boxing program helps individuals “come out of their shell.”
“The benefits are noticeable after about the first week. One of them is a person is much more extroverted,” Reid said. “And of course there’s the balance and the hand-eye co-ordination.”