Some might take the phrase “hit like a girl” as an insult, but the Caldwell sisters of the Westville Boxing Club are proving it’s a compliment.
The two sisters took up boxing for fun and something a bit different a little over a year ago. Initially, the pair had intended the sport to be another fun way for them to get in shape and try a new sport.
As they got more into the sport and training, with encouragement from their coach Aaron Kinch, they decided to give competitive boxing a try. The girls will have their first official competitive boxing cards on March 13 in Eskasoni and March 27 in New Waterford.
“I thought it was a fun and interesting thing to do,” said Daisy Caldwell, 14, about trying out the sport. Between the two of them, the sisters have been involved in hockey, dance, gymnastics and more. “It’s a fun way to spend time.”
Lucy Caldwell, 16, however, is all about the athleticism of the sport and putting herself out there. “I like the sport part of it,” she said. “Anything active.”
They had not intended to compete in boxing, rather just use the intense training to get in shape and have some fun, but as their skills progressed and confidence grew they began to reconsider.
“I think we just got better,” laughed Lucy about why they changed their minds about competing. “We got more skill, more confidence,” Daisy added. The sisters also heavily attributed the help of Coach Kinch who, they said, really helped boost their skills and confidence as well as their ability to compete if they wanted to. With the first card less than a month away the two have been practising three times a week at the gym and are building skills and confidence even more so they can step in the ring and make that first punch.
“I’m excited about it but nervous,” said Lucy. “It’s kind of scary but it’s fun,” Daisy added.
The sisters have told their friends about taking part in boxing and shared that they usually get a confused or surprised reaction from others when they say they are boxers. Traditionally seen as a male-dominated sport the Caldwell sisters as well as the number of other girls that take part in classes at the club are combatting that stereotype, literally.
“Anytime I tell my friends they’re really surprised, they also think it’s pretty cool,” Lucy said. “I like being a part of it, I like knowing that girls can do it too and we get to be a part of that.”
Daisy added that she finds that aspect of the sport cool and empowering knowing that she is one of the few taking part because they enjoy it, despite the reactions. They both feel they have changed since beginning lessons, with more confidence in themselves and their skills.
“The person I was before boxing and the person I am now are different people,” Lucy said. “It gives you a lot of confidence… and Aaron’s a really good coach, especially with beginners.”
Along with the upcoming fights the girls are also being watched as possible qualifiers for Team Nova Scotia at the next Canada Games.
The Caldwell sisters won’t be the only Westville Boxing Club members on the card for the upcoming bouts; Bowen Pettipas, Hunter Naugle and Zander Martin will also be competing as well as their coach Aaron Kinch who will be competing in the wheelchair division. Martin is also being considered for the upcoming Canada Games.
Daisy Caldwell, 14, left, and her sister Lucy Caldwell, 16, are getting ready for their first boxing card on March 13, along with other members of the Westville Boxing Club. (Brimicombe photo)