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Women’s Boxing: Dreams become a reality

Heather VanHoegarden | Friday, November 21, 2003

Women’s boxing brings a whole new meaning to the term “power hour.” For one hour, each boxer does as many sit-ups, push-ups and jumping jacks as she can. But this time it was different.Each boxer took pledges from different individuals based on the number of sit-ups, push-ups and jumping jacks they could do within the hour. These pledges were then donated to the Honduras Sports Camp for Girls, which helps encourage women athletics in Honduras. Each boxer raised at least $50 from pledges.Thursday night it all came together for this hard-working group of boxers as they were successful in 18 bouts in front of families, faculty and students.”It was really great,” captain Sara Sweeney said. “This was the first time we have been able to do something like this.”The women first started boxing publicly at last year’s annual Bengal Bouts, where they had six exhibition fights. However, this started a stir amongst students, faculty and even the media at Notre Dame.”The public response to that [last year’s fights] was amazing,” Sweeney said.This year, the women’s boxing club opted to put on their own bouts. With over 400 people in attendance, the bouts brought in almost $5,000 in donations, T-shirt sales and pledges. This money will be used to cover the expense of the event, and the remainder will go to the sports camp.”We always knew we would be successful once we got to this point,” Sweeney said. “It was an amazing thing to see.”The women credited the event’s success to advertising. They made signs, T-shirts and even the local media interviewed the captains. The men’s boxing club helped out Thursday night, performing various tasks at the bouts.By the end of the bouts, families and faculty alike complimented the boxers on well-fought bouts. The boxers were paired up based on ability and size, in order to provide for fair and exciting bouts.The night was about the determination of the club to come through with the successful season-ending bouts. The exhibition ended with two senior captains, Lisa Danielson and Sarah Ponko dueling until the end.”It finally became a reality,” Sweeney said. “We are definitely looking forward to next season, and we hope to build off the success we had tonight.”Sweeney, a senior, and her fellow captains leave the boxing program with a sense of accomplishment.”It has been more than anything we ever dreamed of,” she said.