When Earl Givens Jr., assistant professor of information literacy and E-Resources librarian, started to talk to students on campus, he knew that there was growing interest for a particular activity.
Givens is the adviser to the Emporia State Boxing Club, one of the many new Recognized Student Organizations on campus this semester.
“A year ago, because of my background in boxing, I wanted to be able to share that with people on campus. So I talked to a bunch of students randomly to see if they’d be interested,” Givens said.
Much like any other recruitment process, it took a while to put all the pieces together and establish a unique club that Givens and students alike could call their own.
“I got a lot of feedback. I actually did a petition and got 75 signatures of students who were interested,” Givens said.
One of the 13 students on campus who recently joined the Boxing Club is Alexa Defore, freshman nursing major.
Defore, originally from Dexter, said she views the group as a new opportunity for her.
“I have never really been around boxing before. I’m from a really small town, so it’s never been offered,” Defore said.
Despite her lack of experience in the ring, Defore believes that she’ll appreciate the club and stick to the sport in the long run.
“We had our first meeting last Tuesday, and we got the first little basics introduced to us and I really enjoyed it. It’s a fun workout,” Defore said.
While the club is still in its initial stages, Givens said he plans on working the students up to a level where they will be able to compete in tournaments and matches across the collegiate circuit.
“For the first year, it’s a recreational club, so the students in the club will actually learn how to box and the basic skills of boxing,” Givens said. “After the first year is over, the club will be enrolled in the National Collegiate Boxing Association and then they’ll be able to compete against other schools.”
For students like Jake Brown, freshman history major, the thought of competition brings a lot of different emotions.
“Coach said we’d be able to fight against schools like Army, Navy and KU, and in the back of my head I’m thinking those are some big schools,” Brown said.
However, the overall benefits of the club are what have Brown convinced that this is the right sport for him.
“I can’t wait to get in the ring and start hitting because it’ll come in handy someday if I ever need to protect myself,” Brown said. “There’s nothing better than boxing when it comes to being able to defend yourself and hit back.”
The club meets from 5:30-6:30 p.m. every Tuesday in the Group Fitness Room of the Student Recreation Center. No prior experience is needed.