FTEC in its 7th Year!
This year is the 7th year that boxing coach, referee, gym owner and entrepreneur Jennifer Huggins, will be delivering one of the biggest nights in Canada boxing
…. Fight To End Cancer Gala!
Presented by Landscape Plus Ltd. and Combustion Training, the year-long fundraising efforts of the Fight To End Cancer are celebrated each year in an event like no other. Featuring a new group of white-collar men and women, with no prior boxing experience, Fight To End Cancer’s annual black tie gala concludes months of their intense training, in a sanctioned Olympic-style boxing event. Fight To End Cancer has quickly grown to become a premium fundraiser and showcases these brave individuals, as they lace up their gloves and step into our ring to help knock out cancer.
Having interviewed Jennifer way back in 2015, the FCN has followed her journey in growing this fantastic event and each year has featured Jennifer herself along with her female fighters on the night. Days before the start of her 7th event, we caught up with Jennifer to ask her how she feels in the lead up!
Can you believe this is your 7th FTEC Gala?
On one hand it’s hard to believe that we are already at Gala number seven. I can recall so clearly the first one; all of the things we’ve learned since then, things we are so much better at now, but we still learn so much every year. On the other hand, what started out as an event has grown into a year long movement; it has essentially become part of what we do every day of the year. We start planning for the next year within a few days of the Gala.
How does that feel?
It is incredibly exhilarating and a little bit scary to be completely honest. I know seven years is already a great accomplishment. But my vision is that this will go on for generations, that the Fight to End Cancer will be here long past me. Given how much it has grown in seven years, I can’t imagine what it will like after another 20!
How has FTEC event changed over the years and what are you most proud of?
FTEC has gone from an annual event to something that I would now describe as a movement. This is incredible to me because it is what I envisioned from the beginning. The people that have decided to devote their precious time to this cause, really tells me just how much it means to them. It’s incredibly humbling and inspiring.
I think what I am most proud of, is that as FTEC has evolved, we have done the same thing for boxing in our own small way. At the start of FTEC, boxing was seen as maybe intimidating and challenging. Through our approach, coaching and education, the event, and boxing have become much more accessible. One of our fighters from this year admits to never having been in a gym in her life and now is about to have a sanctioned boxing match.
Whilst you have had female fights at previous events, this year you have 2 female bouts…how much interest do you have year on year from women wanting to take part?
This is the second year featuring two female bouts, are first one was in 2015. It has always been important to me to have female fighters on the card and usually we need to work a little bit to find a good matchup. But this year was very different; it was a tough choice to narrow it down to two female bouts. We had plenty of options and to different weight classes. In general, the interest in boxing from females has increased dramatically over the last few years.
What are you most looking forward to about the night?
The night of the Gala is always interesting for me, to say the least. The thing that I am most looking forward to is also the thing that makes me the most nervous. I am very excited to see our fight team step into the ring, to see them put all of their hard work into practice, to test their skills and witness them experience that sense of achievement and pride. At the same time, as a coach, I am nervous for them. I want them to all be successful and I seem to always want one more hour with them in the gym!
How can people donate?
People can donate by going to the website, https://fighttoendcancer.com/ . When you’re there check out all the fighters, read their stories and read the stories of our incredible sponsors. In fact, on of our sponsors, Tip Top Tailors, is running a national campaign. People across Canada can go to any Tip Top Tailor’s and for a minimum $20 donation they will get an exclusive Fight to End Cancer tie clip. All of the funds go straight to the Fight to End Cancer!