News that the Emerald Gloves amateur boxing tournament that was slated for Oceanside Place last weekend has been postponed until further notice is being seen as a good thing, but what Genesis Boxing & Fitness, who will be hosting the event, needs right now more than anything is community support.
According to Genesis Boxing & Fitness founder, head coach, trainer and driving force, Rick Rae, the Emerald Gloves have been rescheduled because all the boxing gyms in Canada are staying open this summer to prepare for the nationals in November “so we’re still going to take part in those, and we may still be hosting the Emerald Gloves in six weeks or so, it will be a TBA thing, but we will be supporting our fellow B.C. boxing clubs.” He explained this “will give us the opportunity for all of our boxers to get more experience throughout the summer and to be more appropriately ready, if interested, in taking part in being opened up for the National Team. This also leaves us more opportunity to take part in broadening our horizons with different clubs, boxers and coaches.”
And while the man behind the club with a social conscious is hesitant to go into details, those close to Rae know he has been sick for some time, and is currently on treatment for liver disease.
Not surprisingly, Rae’s main concern is for the kids that have come to call his club a second home.
He has brought in other trainers to keep the good ship Genesis going in his absence, but the spirit and sense of purpose he brings to the club has been missed.
“It’s very important to keep the gym alive and my boxers interested,” Rae said when The NEWS caught up with him, his voice cracking with emotion.
“All I would say is that I like the silver lining thing — I like the fact all the clubs are staying open over the summer, that we’re going to get more opportunities to compete and to grow as a club.”
“For over three years I’ve been telling my boxers — little, large and in the middle — that it’s not how many times you get knocked down, it’s how many times you get back up, and the proof is in the pudding. I’m not dyin’, but it’s not fun,” said Rae, who has lost 15 pounds and has to have regular blood transfusions.
For those unfamiliar with Genesis Boxing & Fitness, which celebrated its third anniversary in March, it is so much more than a boxing gym. Much more. Rae and his club continues to raise money for MS treatments for 18 people in the area, along with food bank drives and donations to the SPCA.
Asked if there is a risk of the club closing down, Rae’s answer came quickly.
“No, definitely not.”
In typical Rick Rae fashion, the dedicated mentor is quick to make the point he doesn’t want people showing up at the club because of his illness, “I want them to show up because it’s the healthy thing to do.”