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Local gym hosting fight event at Evergreen Park

Local gym hosting fight event at Evergreen Park

Photo Courtesy BPM Fitness CO. Grande Prairie Facebook Page

By Tanner Smith

Fight Event

Jun 10, 2022 | 2:10 PM

BPM Fitness and Icon Kickboxing is hosting a boxing, kickboxing, and mixed MMA event Saturday, June 11, at the Tara Centre at Evergreen Park.

Maxwell Golden, a Third Degree Black Belt at Gladiators Martial Arts and Grande Prairie local, will be in the co-main event for this fight night, He encourages everyone in the area to come out and watch…

“Well a lot of people don’t know but Grande Prairie has a very strong fight community. We have exceptionally skilled fighters here and to come to show that support and show our town doesn’t back down from a challenge, that kind of thing.”

“I’d like to see a lot more support of the fight community cause it’s very large here and very well developed, we have people at the highest level,” Golden said.

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Calgary Roller Derby plans to reunite members at first home event in 2 years – Calgary |

Calgary Roller Derby plans to reunite members at first home event in 2 years - Calgary |

Calgary Roller Derby players are hoping to unite the derby community at their first home event in two years.

It’s a sport that leaves players battered and bruised, but that’s all part of the fun according to participants.

“Hitting people is first on my list. It’s an outlet for aggression,” Carla Walquist, AKA Scarla Maim and co-president of Calgary Roller Derby, said of her favourite aspects of the game.

“It’s very rough. It’s very intense. There’s tons of skill involved, tons of rules involved. Agility and speed and endurance.”

Read more:

Lethbridge roller derby players skate to world cup and represent Canada

Roller derby is back on again in Calgary after COVID-19 shut the sport down for two years.

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“I was grateful we got our last scrimmage back in March of 2019, but it was kind of heartbreaking actually, to be honest,” Walquist said.

Members of the Calgary Roller Derby are thrilled to be back at their weekly practices in West Hillhurst.

“Nothing really beats the fitness that we do here and the intensity, the community — all of the stuff you just can’t find in a home gym,” Walquist said.

The sport involves two teams, with one jammer from each team, who can score points by passing opposing team members as many times as possible within two minutes. Blockers stop the opposing jammer by any legal means necessary while helping their jammer get through.

“It was amazing and it was nerve-racking,” said skater Jessica Hafeli, also known on the track as Jigz, about her return to practice.

“I have never not skated this long in my life in 10 years, so there were definitely a lot of nerves mixed with excitement.

“Not sure if I was ready but as soon as I put skates on in the first practice it was like ‘OK, cool, let’s go!’”

Hafeli said she appreciates the sense of community in the Calgary roller derby scene.

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“I enjoy the athleticism mixed with the empowerment. I really appreciate that this community is so diverse and very much supports the empowerment of women and the female-identified. It’s not like any other community or sports community that I’ve ever been a part of.”

She added there’s also a lot of strategy involved in the sport.

“The ability to have really good strategies that you’ve practiced and then go into a game and execute it perfectly is the best,” she said of the game. “When you’re working together and you’ve been working so hard at this one play and it comes out beautifully in a game — there’s nothing like it.”

Read more:

Calgary Roller Derby All Stars are heading to Sweden

It’s taken some time for skaters to come back and feel comfortable enough to be in close quarters to return to full-contact drills and scrimmages. As a result, the local association isn’t back to full strength just yet and the Calgary derby community is looking to recruit.

“The whole derby community worldwide is suffering. We are suffering for players, for games and events and fans,” Walquist said.

“We are just trying to build that back up and get it out there again so people know we are still at it and just get them excited about derby.

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“We just want to get people to come out and see it once and then I think they will be hooked and they will come again.”

Calgary Roller Derby is hosting a double-header women’s invitational on June 11 in Calgary at the Acadia Recreation Complex, called Roller Derby Revival-Smash Hits.

The games will be themed around music genres with punk vs rap and metal vs country. Both participants and audience members are encouraged to dress the part for the team they are playing or cheering for.

© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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Sault gym to host ninja obstacle course event (3 photos)

Sault gym to host ninja obstacle course event (3 photos)

Sault Ste. Marie’s Rebel Gym says it will be hosting the first ever local Ultimate OCR (Obstacle Course Racing) event for several age groups at Queen Elizabeth Park Saturday, June 11.

Though not a display of typical, full-blown ninja martial arts fighting skills, Rebel Gym’s Tyler Belanger said “there’ll be some ninja obstacles and some ninja training elements in there but it is a running obstacle course event.”

The UOCR will combine;

  • Ninja obstacles (monkey bars and grips)
  • OCR obstacles  (wall climbs and rope climbs) 
  • Tests of strength (sandbag carries)
  • A three kilometre run

Such obstacle course races are a new type of competitive event that’s starting to catch on, Belanger said.

“We just finished a ninja competition two weeks ago where we had 80 competitors, lots of them coming from Sudbury. Our ninja competitive program’s growing. We’re growing our events schedule for obstacle course racing. This will be our first obstacle course race we hold in the Sault.”

Belanger, who with wife Dawn owns and operates Rebel Gym – formerly known as 17 Barbells Gym as reported earlier by SooToday – is encouraging people to get outside and get active after pandemic lockdowns and restrictions.

The June 11 event will include over 25 obstacles for participants to contend with and it will be challenging, but Belanger chuckled “we don’t want to scare people away.” 

“This is going to be the first one of many. We’ll run this annually. Sault College and Algoma University are promoting the event and we’re also looking to open up an elementary and high school city championship with this race, so the more kids that can come out and give it a try, then we can start looking at it as a sport like track and field and cross country and put it in the school calendar year.”

“The Elite age group for this event is 18 and over and someone who wants to do this competitively,” Belanger said, encouraging people from that age group to register.

“We have 15 people registered right now from other age groups but we know there are going to be more. We’ll have some people from Sudbury coming as well,” Belanger said.

Belanger anticipates many contestants in the 15 years of age and under age group will register, mirroring the age group of many Rebel Gym regular customers.

Rebel Gym is affiliated with three ninja leagues, including the Canadian Ninja League and the Ultimate Ninja Athlete Association (UNAA).

There are world championships for contestants in ninja obstacle course events.

The top three males and females from the Elite category and each age group category will qualify for a spot to race in the UOCR World Championship held at The Orleans Hotel and Arena in Las Vegas Sunday, July 24, 2022. 

The June 11 event at Queen Elizabeth Park, beginning at 8 a.m. and continuing until past 4 p.m., is the only qualifying race being hosted in Canada for Season 1.

Trip accommodations, travel, and the entry fee are not covered by qualification.

Information on age groups participating, start times for each group, fees and how to register for the local June 11 event can be found on the event’s website.

As a gym owner, Belanger said it feels good to have Rebel Gym open again after a tough two years of lockdowns and restrictions, cutting expenses and staff and handing out refunds to customers.

Tyler and Dawn Belanger started up their gym in January 2019 and operated for a year before being locked down due to COVID-19.

“We’re back and ready to go,” Tyler said.