Pembroke Boxing Club owner looks to share passion for the sport
Tina Peplinskie/Daily Observer: The Pembroke Boxing Club recently celebrated its official opening in Downtown Pembroke. Trying on some gloves and putting their dukes up for the occasion (from left) were Renfrew-Nipissing-Pembroke MPP John Yakabuski, Pembroke Deputy Mayor Ron Gervais, PBIA board member John Butler, PBIA vice-chairwoman Janna Fortin, PBIA chairman Michael St. Jean, assistant coach Benjamin Mathieu and Jay Burgoyne, head coach and club owner. Missing is assistant coach Greg Robert.
A retired soldier has assembled a team to create an environment that introduces the community to the rich history of boxing while making it accessible to everyone.
Members of the Pembroke Business Improvement Area, municipal and provincial government officials recently gathered at the Pembroke Boxing Club, to offer a welcome since the club opened its doors in Downtown Pembroke (94 Pembroke St. West).
The club is owned by Jay Burgoyne, a retired Canadian Forces member with a long history with boxing and combat sports. He taught close quarters combat to the Royal Canadian Dragoons and he's also competed in mixed martial arts. He is joined by assistant coaches Benjamin Mathieu, who has been an amateur boxer for the past 14 years, and Greg Robert, so there is a lot of experience leading the club.
Since opening, the coaches have already worked with Family and Childen's Services of Renfrew County with a program initiated by a group of girls which saw 15 and 16 year olds take on the mentorship role for 13 and 14 year olds.
“We had 20 people in here for a few hours,” said Burgoyne.
With the only boxing facility in Pembroke, he is hoping to form partnerships with different community groups as a way of sharing his passion and introducing others to the “sweet science” of the sport he loves. He said being downtown has already increased the club's exposure to the community and he is hopeful that will continue.
The club has recently offered a women's self defence class and a kids class and going forward it will offer boxing classes for people of all ages, as well as other classes such as lunchtime Zumba and kickboxing.
Among those welcoming the Pembroke Boxing Club to the downtown core were Pembroke Deputy Mayor Ron Gervais and Renfrew-Nipissing-Pembroke MPP John Yakabuski.
Gervais called small businesses the backbone of the community and added the active living piece is a bonus.
Yakabuski also offered his congratulations to Burgoyne and his team and the PBIA for continuing its work to attract new businesses downtown.