Brandon Warr

Times Staff Writer

Pick up the gloves and lace up those boots, because the Gunnison Parks and Recreation Department is now offering boxing classes for beginner and experienced women.

With limited boxing classes being offered in the Gunnison Valley, Ginny Baylor — Gunnison Parks and Recreation coordinator — decided to start the women's boxing class.

“I didn't really get into boxing until early 2015 when I met Tom Barber,” said said Baylor. “He started working with me, so I am relatively new to the sport and still learning myself.”

Barber is the coach of the Western State Colorado University boxing program. He has experience coaching and training multiple state and world champions, as well as Olympians.

Baylor decided to start the class after Barber expressed interest in starting youth and adult programs through the Gunnison Recreation Department.

“I figured it was a great time to see if there were other women like myself interested in the sport,” said Baylor. “I have been interested in boxing, but living in Gunnison there have not been many options for a gym.”

The class started on Jan. 10, with a cost of $53 for 10 classes for those 15 and older. Classes are currently being offered on Tuesday mornings from 6-6:45 a.m. While the class is halfway through and there are no open spots for this session, there will be another session starting on March 13. However, it will not be a women-only class. Baylor doesn’t have a firm plan when she will offer another women’s boxing class.

Currently, participants are learning the basic boxing techniques in a workout that increases muscular strength and cardio endurance. There are five stations in which participants work — jumping rope, shadow boxing, punching heavy bags, upright dummies and mitt work — to help improve various aspects of boxing.

The end goal of the class is for participants to get a good — and fun — workout, while gaining confidence, strength and empowerment.

“Boxing gets me grounded much like my yoga does,” said Baylor. “But there is something a bit more powerful about boxing.”

Gear is provided for participants. However, if participants want to bring their own gloves or rope, it is encouraged.

No competition or tournaments will be offered in this class. Rather, the class is more geared toward getting a taste of the sport. If a participant is interested in fighting, Baylor will turn them over to Barber, who is also offering a boxing class at the Gunnison Recreation Center starting next month.

 

(Brandon Warr can be reached at 970.641.1414 or brandon@gunnisontimes.com.)