The Lillooet Boxing Club, run by Brian Barker, has been a success in Lillooet for more than 10 years.
The club has its home in a room in the basement of Lillooet Secondary School, where the boxers have a mirrored wall, various punching bags, weightlifting equipment, training aids and even a ring. The club welcomes children from nine years of age all the way to adults who want to get fit, develop greater confidence and learn the skills of boxing. The club runs under the umbrella of the Just Do It Sports program.
Every Monday and Wednesday night finds the group starting its warm-up activities at 6 p.m. in the LSS gym. Barker takes the group through a session of cardio, strength training and endurance. He emphasizes stretching and strengthening yoga-type postures.
Barker says he’s learned to incorporate stretching, as it is very important to the overall fitness goals and that he’s continually renewing his teaching by taking courses and integrating the latest techniques. After the intense warm-up, the boxers head to their main space and work on sparring, stance, strength, and competition. Barker stresses that no one ever needs to enter the ring if they do not want to and that actual fighting or sparring is not a requirement.
The club is proud of those who take the sport to the next level and currently four members are heading to the three-day Boxing BC 2018 Provincial Championships. Preston Riley going for the B.C. Junior Youth Lightweight title, and also looking for a spot on Team B.C. and a trip to the Nationals.
Jade Goldie is focused on the Senior Ladies Light Welter Novice title, Andrew Michel is aimng for the Senior men's Middleweight title and Kyle McEwen hopes to fight for the Senior Men’s Light Middleweight title.
Club members Jessie Levitt and Scott DeKelver joined to get fit, and Jessie adds that she was looking for a sport and fitness program to help her cross-train over the winter to prepare her for rugby in the spring. Scott and Jessie spend time working out together at the boxing club, throwing punches at a bag, and continually coaching and supporting each other to push a little harder.
Younger member Raven Kage joined the boxing club because of his older brother’s involvement. Raven says, “It’s a really good workout,” and this is evidenced by the sweat dripping from his brow as he works on his throws on the punching bag.
Just Do It Sports offers many sports in Lillooet and is supported by regular volunteers.
The boxing club charges a fee, but also receives funding through its numerous fund-raising activities such as bottle drives, car washes and donations from the local Elks and Lions.
Barker is a big supporter of anyone who would like to come out and try boxing or is just looking for a place to work on his/her fitness. He is also dedicated to welcoming young people to the sport and notes his greatest success has been working with kids who are shy and need a way to boost their confidence.
One of the greatest surprises, he says, is when parents come and see what their kids can do; they are always so surprised by the stamina, endurance, and strength they see.
More information can be found on the Just Do It Sports Facebook page at