Fight for a cause (literally!) at this summer’s Restaurant Rumble boxing match hosted by the non-profit Apron For Gloves. Originally conceived as a collaboration between foodservice industry folks and Vancouver boxers, the event helps fund community outreach programming provided by the Eastside Boxing Club (EBC) and tryouts are this weekend.
Abdul Fadel, who benefited from the gym’s boxing program for at-risk youth calls the opportunity “life-changing.” He came to know the gym as part of an after-school program. Now, fifteen years later, Fadel still returns but as a coach.
“I’m forever indebted to this place,” he says. “It helped me stay disciplined and less aggressive. Without the program, I would have gone down a very different path in life.”
Open to new fighters and seasoned sparrers alike, Restaurant Rumble invites anyone eager to get into the ring to try out this weekend or by scheduled request. Chosen contenders will then attend thrice-weekly training sessions and raise $2000 before the big fight night. Those proceeds go to EBC’s community programs for kids, frontline workers, low-income families, and women on the Downtown Eastside.
In addition to giving back to the Downtown Eastside, Restaurant Rumble serves as a transformative experience for its participants. For current EBC Director Kyndra Moeller training and fighting in a large-scale production gave her the confidence she had long been seeking, even when she didn’t win.
“I remember feeling like all these barriers were completely removed. I was elated, I thought I’m stronger than I ever thought I could be," she says.
Since that first year, Moeller has continued to train and encourages fellow women to participate in both the sport and Restaurant Rumble.
“We often end up feeling like we have to give more and continually give even when we don’t give enough to ourselves,” she says. “I found that this whole experience allows you to become a woman sure of who she is.”
In this spirit of giving back to both the community and its participants, Restaurant Rumble is open to contenders not working in the foodservice industry. Any restaurant, brewery, café, or bar that agrees to have a fighter under their name will do. Get ready for a knockout night!
When: Fight Night August 25
Where: ENSO Event Centre - 750 Pacific Blvd
Cost: $TBA; Tickets on sale July