Home at last: Nelson Boxing Club finds a place of its own

The club opens the doors to the public on Tuesday.

Nelson Boxing Club owner Jesse Pineiro stands in the middle of a freshly built ring. The club opens the doors on its new home Tuesday.

Reality hasn’t quite set in yet for Jesse Pineiro.

He and his team are putting the final touches to the new Nelson Boxing and Athletics Club. But the club’s owner has also been working full-time with the wildfire service, and hasn’t had a moment to fully understand that his struggle is over.

“I haven’t just come down here and sat down here and soaked it in really,” said Pineiro. “I’ve just been running around. But I plan on just coming down here by myself for 15 minutes, just being here. It’s some sort of victory. People still need to come down the stairs, but I think they will.”

Pineiro gave the Star a tour of the new space, which opens Tuesday in the former Summit Gym on Baker Street.

Whereas their old home was a cramped fit in a dark basement with no proper ring, the new club has a ring of its own, along with room for punching and speed bags, weight machines and more.

It’s been a serendipitous year for Pineiro.

In the spring the club was asked to relocate from its old location.

They hosted a boxing card in May to help send its fighters to the BC Golden Gloves Tournament in Quesnel, where local fighter Jeff Emmett won his first title.

The club operated temporarily out of a church in Fairview until July when Pineiro was given a heads up that Summit’s former owners were clearing out and he had first dibs.

Pineiro said he made a ridiculously small offer and was stunned when it was accepted.

Now he’ll be back coaching in the same place he used to train in as a young fighter.

“I think I underestimated a lot of things,” said Pineiro.

“I wasn’t very hopeful a year ago and I think I underestimated how much people wanted to see this happen besides me.

“There’s a lot of people helping me with this. I’m amazed by the energy people are willing to put out for it.”

There won’t just be boxing in the club. Along with weightlifting, Pineiro has partnered with Red Path Movement to give the parkour group a space of its own.

Michael Garvie and Mateus Dachwitz, who were previously based out of Nakusp, have also been on a long search for a permanent home while using a cube van to hold classes around the West Kootenay.

While they still plan on visiting other communities, Garvie said they are thrilled to moving into the new gym.

“We’re pretty stoked to be down here and to be partnered with the boxing club,” said Garvey. “We were quite excited at their enthusiasm at combining what we were offering at the same space.”

The two groups also share a social conscious. Red Path Movement incorporates First Nations teachings into parkour, while Pineiro, who completed a social work diploma this year at Selkirk College, hopes to make the Nelson Boxing Club a community resource.

“My vision here is to be very inclusive and to stand for something and to be available for those sorts of struggles as they come up, whatever that is in the community, homelessness or drug abuse or mental illness, I want to be involved as a group, as an organization,” said Pineiro.

“Everybody here that’s part of the core group is on board with that, and it’s not your traditional business model at all.”

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