Rylee Zondervan knows she’s going to get punched in the face. That’s why she’s so excited.
The 15-year-old Grade 10 student at L.V. Rogers applied for and won a year-long membership to the Nelson Boxing Club earlier this month. The scholarship was offered to LVR students who had to make a case for why they wanted to join the club.
Zondervan’s new sport surprised her family.
“My dad thinks it’s cool. But my mom, when I first told her, said, ‘You’re going to get hit you know, and it’s going to hurt.’ I’m like, ‘I know it’s going to hurt!'” she said. “Everyone was just surprised when I said I wanted to try it but for the most part they’re supportive.”
Zondervan will get instruction from the club’s owner and coach Jesse Pineiro, who said he worked with the school’s councillors to find the right applicant.
“I think they had your classic juvenile delinquent-type situation in mind. What ended up happening was we get a straight-A, honour-roll girl student,” said Pineiro. “I’m totally excited about it. Her reasons for boxing are just as legitimate as anyone else’s and I’m happy to have her.”
Zondervan’s goal will be to get fight-ready for a possible bout at a card in the fall.
“I want to learn to be good, and I want to learn self-determination and practice,” she said. “I think boxing, it’s all in your head mostly. When you’re in the ring, there’s no one there to tell you how to do it. You just have to know how to do it.”