Kingsway Boxing is honoured to welcome photojournalist, Acha Patandjila, who will be spending the next few months with KBC documenting the journey of our youth boxing team as they prepare for competition.
Acha Patandjila is a writer, photographer, videographer, and upcoming Humber College Graduand in the Media Communications program.
She has been given the opportunity to document the journey of the youth boxing team as they take the next step into competition. The project will show a different perspective of boxing and who boxers are; in other words, it is to show that there is much more beyond the gloves, the rings and the jabs, there are people, young people; motivated, diligent, hardworking and ready to rumble. The project is themed around community, bravery and the process of unleashing one’s inner self.
Life is a journey, for some, it’s long, for others it’s short and for me, it’s been about wandering. Born in South Africa, raised in Uganda, lived in Rwanda, originally from the Democratic Republic of Congo, and guess who’s in Toronto? Me! My name is Acha, I’m a roaming storm, I hear, but I am not here to talk about myself, my role is to take you down this new journey to greatness by the Kingsway Boxing Club juniors and you are going to have one bumpy, fun ride!
~ Acha Patandjila
⚠️ Are you interested in joining our Youth Competitive Team? Learn more about next steps and what it takes to become a competitive boxer: Youth Talent ID & Team Tryouts
May 02, 2022 | COMMITMENT: WHERE DOES IT GET YOU? — Third In A Series
Diego goes to the gym and practices five times a week! A very African (Nigerian) expression would be, “Nawa o!”, an expression of awe and wonder translated to, “Okay wow”.
Commitment, to me, is the hardest task in life, it involves finding contrast in consistency and growing from it. Boring? Possibly, if you’re without vision – but it is that commitment that Diego brings to the ring.
He is like a wild beast in the ring, one of the first boxers I met. He does not need to say much, for his boxing shouts louder. Surprisingly he has only been boxing at Kingsway Boxing Club for about seven months! I kid you not, you can do something for your whole life, but if you lack the zeal to wake up every day and chase that goal, you can call it null and void. The boxers’ commitment alone doesn’t make them a magnificent boxer, it’s the supporters and society’s daily dedication to the person and the cause. We have talked about this in the previous posts and referred to it as Ubuntu, (if you have not read it before, scroll down a bit, you will find it there.)
“In every sport, I always thought I could do everything I wanted so I put my mind on boxing,” Diego says. “If you are playing basketball, you have four other teammates to rely on but if you’re boxing you hold yourself accountable.” How many times in your life do you do something and quit halfway because you feel like it is not bearing fruit? I myself have a few articles only half-written, waiting for me on my desktop. The disciplines of dedication and commitment to boxing are those we can apply to our own lives.
“If your dreams don’t scare you, they aren’t big enough.”Mohammed Ali
“If your dreams don’t scare you, they aren’t big enough.” That quote by Mohammed Ali, Diego lives by. He says he wants to be the best boxer of his time. This game is more about the mind and the heart. With the support of his family, Diego is able to give his sport all of his attention. This boxer is a CHAMPION – argue at your own risk.
Apr. 12, 2022 | Beauty In The Brave — Second In A Series
It was a cozy Thursday evening, the sun emerged as the darkness tried to fill the bright city. Julia Rosanna was feeling well again after defeating COVID, it was going to be an interesting endeavour. Would she make it through though?
Julia joined the Club back in October 2019, since then she trains as a junior boxer every Thursday and Saturday and for her, as much as this is her last year as a junior boxer, the experience has been remarkably life changing. Brave is a word far from her vocabulary, it does not seem to be a word she lives by which I found quite intriguing.
Having been told by her doctor that she exhibits some characteristics of ADHD, evidenced by her level of coordination, Julia was always the last to be picked for any sports-related activities. For many, this would be a reason to be discouraged but for this girl, it was every reason to try as much as she could until she was chosen. Kingsway Boxing Club opened that door and that is where her story matured.
It took twice as much effort for her to succeed in boxing. On Saturdays, she stayed a little while longer after practice to practice more and more, and one time her efforts were recognized by Phil, a trainer and boxer at the Club who complimented her saying she was getting better, to her, this was a huge moment.
In this day and age equity does not find us where we go, we find equity and make equity amount to our standards. From this girl, it is through hard work, perseverance, and a paradigm shift of one’s perspective towards life. “It’s all mental,” she says, “everything that you feel and everything that you see is all mental, it’s entirely surreal so if you could change your mind, you could change not the world in a sense but definitely how you respond to the world.”
“Everything that you feel and everything that you see is all mental, it’s entirely surreal so if you could change your mind, you could change not the world in a sense but definitely how you respond to the world.”Julia Howe
The question: Was she going to make it through the season is answered – Julia is a fighter. How far she can go? The limit is not the sky, nor will she stop at the stars – because she is VALOROUS in every letter.
Apr. 1, 2022 | Where It Started — First In A Series
It was a warm Friday morning, Spring was calling, and it was PIZZA DAY at Kingsway Boxing Club to make it better; That was the last day of Fight Camp. The one-week camp was coming to an end, and it was going to end in great style and action with a lot of sparring. What in the world is sparring?!
Matias systematically wraps his wrist with a red, long wrap as Joey in the corner does the same with a black one, and Diego, well, he has a different wrapping style where he first layers the wrap on his knuckles and I think what on earth is he doing, whether it is for the aesthetics, or the weights, don’t boxers wear boxing gloves when boxing? A Hand wrap is a long piece of cloth with such primary value to the boxer; to avoid hand injuries and provide support to their wrists. Before the conditioning, before sparring, this is where it starts and while they are at it, all you can hear are chatters, and little waves of laughter, others helping those who find it difficult to wrap, and it takes me back home, we called that togetherness – “Ubuntu”.
A hand wrap is a long piece of cloth with such primary value to the boxer; to avoid hand injuries and provide support to their wrists.
Ubuntu is the belief in existing because of the existence of others. In other words, to become a person, a boxer, you will need other boxers, referees, fans, supporters, and an endless list of a community. In the process, I realized there was more to boxing than throwing fists in oversized gloves rather it was a moment to unite in one accord, a moment to release your inner solidity and brain brawn because you need your mind just as much as the rest of your body on this journey, something like dancing but it is different.
Ubuntu is the belief in existing because of the existence of others. In other words, to become a person, a boxer, you will need other boxers, referees, fans, supporters, and an endless list of a community.
After a few sessions of jumping, punching bags, throwing huge balls around, memorizing tolerance, and loud hushes, was the much more exciting bit in the ring! “Jelo”, who is not called Jello, a boxer at the Kingsway Boxing Club held intimidating features and posture, his punches looked like they would throw you out the ring at one go, yes, he was one of the people the junior boxers were going to spar with, and you do not think that is brave? I did not see myself in that ring in a thousand years let alone with professionals, yet these junior boxers seemed more than ready to jab and cross these fighters. The girl’s extraordinary performance reminded me of a speech by Chimamanda Adichie where she said, “Never ever accept ‘because you are a woman’ as a reason for doing or not doing anything,” it was evident as they were in the ring that their gender was never going to be an excuse for anything, we love to see it!
The brave boxers were awarded certificates of participation to sum up their camp session. I used to think like I know many others do think as well, that boxing is violent, I was contradicted that day, there had to be a much greater reason as to why everyone was there. This is life for many children and teenagers on the road to the competition. They’re here to seek, heal, grow, box, and learn, but mainly to defeat because “Defeat is not an Option”. This is where it all begins.
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