Barrydale’s Panic Room Boxing Club received a massive boost from England Boxing Referee Rebecca van Der Westhuizen who donated clothing and equipment to the club.
This gesture was, in part, made possible by Derby City Boxing Club and will undoubtedly be put to good use by coach Conroy Williams and his team.
Items that were brought in from the UK range from mouth guards to boxing trunks and vests and it was received just weeks after the club celebrated its first SA Kickboxing Champion in Zyno Syster.
“This is a huge boost for the club and we would like to thank Rebecca and Derby Boxing Club for these items that will definitely be put to good use by our boxers,” said Williams.
Williams added that the gear will also come in handy for Barrydale Fight Night III which is scheduled to take place in December.
For Van der Westhuizen, who is one of the most respected boxing referees in the UK (if not the world) the importance of ensuring that the core values of boxing are shared with as many people as possible, is one of the main reasons she decided to help this up and coming Barrydale Club.
Boxing changes lives
She said that there often is a perception that England is an affluent country without social issues, yet many of the boxing clubs are based in areas of “serious deprivation and gang violence.”
Van der Westhuizen has therefore seen first hand that the sport changes lives for the better.
“It isn’t about fighting. It is about confidence, being able to communicate with others, standing up for yourself and in a roundabout way, how not to use violence.”
“Violence gets channeled into the ring and there it is not about who can beat each other up the most. It is about fitness, strategy and personal improvement.”
Asked where her passion for the sport started, she quipped that her brother David’s martial arts practice sessions during her childhood could be the reason why she loves the sport so much.
On a more serious note her obsession with boxing is in all likelihood a direct result of reading too many copies of Ring Magazine.
Receiving magazine subscriptions for her birthday did not help either.
“I also started watching professional fights and then sitting with my notebook and pen – scoring fights.”
From that point onwards she hounded England Boxing to send her on a course and thanks to the support she received from Derby Boxing Club that supported her every step of the way, she shot through the ranks at the speed of light.
It’s a man’s world
Yes Rebecca is entwined in a man’s world, but she is therefore an example for women that anything can be achieved if you put your mind to it.
“Traditionally yes, it is a man’s world, but I’ve only ever been treated with respect by coaches who often like to give referees an ear full. And the boxers have also been kind.
Rebecca said her secret to being a good official is that she never gets involved on a personal level.
She only sees red or blue when she is in the ring and when she judges a fight, red and blue are the only words on her score sheet.
In Barrydale she saw the smile of Williams who will make a point of ensuring that every item the club had received would be used to further the sport.