Toronto Newsgirls Boxing Club on the ropes, but optimistic

News Aug 22, 2017 by Joanna Lavoie Beach Mirror

The Toronto Newsgirls Boxing Club, Canada’s first female-owned boxing gym for women and trans people, is much more than just a fun place to punch things.

The Leslieville-based gym is a place where those it serves find out how strong they really are, said head coach Savoy "Kapow!" Howe during a recent interview.

“It’s life-changing. We give people hope,” said Howe, who founded the gym in 1996.

“For a boxing gym, Toronto Newsgirls is one of the safest spaces some of these women have ever experienced.”

For the last 11 years, Toronto Newsgirls has been located in a 3,500 sq. ft industrial space on Carlaw Avenue, just south of Gerrard Street East.

Somehow, month after month, Howe has managed to scrape together the $5,000-plus needed to pay the rent.

“It’s not an easy way to live,” admitted Howe, who has recently called on friends and supporters as well as the 5,000 Newsgirls alumni to become a “Sugar Mama” and donate as little as $5 a month.

“We want to be able to offer affordable programming and we just want security,” said Howe, who also said it would be nice if she could actually draw a salary, hire a few coaches and even take a little time off.

Howe said things have been even more challenging as of late, as a longtime recreational boxing program at the 250-member gym that catered to female-identified individuals who have experienced violence “took a different direction” and unexpectedly relocated.

“Shape Your Life was one of our key sources of income at Newsgirls. At first, it was a shock, but crisis means opportunity,” said Howe, who designed and ran the program for 10 years.

“Every time something happens like this, I refuse to wallow. I see it as an opportunity to grow.”

Determined to continue to offer a recreational boxing program at the gym that would help empower women and trans people, she decided to revamp and expand the previous concept, and will soon be launching a new initiative called Outside the Ring.

“We’re urging participants to think different and consider new ideas,” she said of the new program, which will be open to women and trans people from all backgrounds, abilities, and walks of life starting in September.

“The goal is to reach out to the community, to those who may not think to enter a boxing gym.”

This fall, Howe will once again start up an amateur boxing team. The goal is to get the 16 members ready for their first fight within a year.

Toronto Newsgirls, which also offers training for recreational coaches and competitive boxers, has also recently launched a new program for youth age 10 to 16 and their ‘moms’ — called Newsgirls One-Two Combo.

Down the line, Howe said she’d also like to resume international exchanges with other like-minded boxing gyms around the world.

Last spring, Savoy, who has a theatre degree, wrote and performed a solo show called Newsgirl at the gym, as part of the Soulo Theatre Festival. From Sept. 21 to Sept. 24, she’ll be remounting the 70-minute show at the gym and donating a portion of the proceeds to female boxers in Calcutta.

For more information, visit http://torontonewsgirls.com.

Toronto Newsgirls Boxing Club on the ropes, but optimistic

Canada’s first female-owned boxing gym looking for Sugar Mamas

News Aug 22, 2017 by Joanna Lavoie Beach Mirror

The Toronto Newsgirls Boxing Club, Canada’s first female-owned boxing gym for women and trans people, is much more than just a fun place to punch things.

The Leslieville-based gym is a place where those it serves find out how strong they really are, said head coach Savoy "Kapow!" Howe during a recent interview.

“It’s life-changing. We give people hope,” said Howe, who founded the gym in 1996.

“For a boxing gym, Toronto Newsgirls is one of the safest spaces some of these women have ever experienced.”

Related Content

For the last 11 years, Toronto Newsgirls has been located in a 3,500 sq. ft industrial space on Carlaw Avenue, just south of Gerrard Street East.

Somehow, month after month, Howe has managed to scrape together the $5,000-plus needed to pay the rent.

“It’s not an easy way to live,” admitted Howe, who has recently called on friends and supporters as well as the 5,000 Newsgirls alumni to become a “Sugar Mama” and donate as little as $5 a month.

“We want to be able to offer affordable programming and we just want security,” said Howe, who also said it would be nice if she could actually draw a salary, hire a few coaches and even take a little time off.

Howe said things have been even more challenging as of late, as a longtime recreational boxing program at the 250-member gym that catered to female-identified individuals who have experienced violence “took a different direction” and unexpectedly relocated.

“Shape Your Life was one of our key sources of income at Newsgirls. At first, it was a shock, but crisis means opportunity,” said Howe, who designed and ran the program for 10 years.

“Every time something happens like this, I refuse to wallow. I see it as an opportunity to grow.”

Determined to continue to offer a recreational boxing program at the gym that would help empower women and trans people, she decided to revamp and expand the previous concept, and will soon be launching a new initiative called Outside the Ring.

“We’re urging participants to think different and consider new ideas,” she said of the new program, which will be open to women and trans people from all backgrounds, abilities, and walks of life starting in September.

“The goal is to reach out to the community, to those who may not think to enter a boxing gym.”

This fall, Howe will once again start up an amateur boxing team. The goal is to get the 16 members ready for their first fight within a year.

Toronto Newsgirls, which also offers training for recreational coaches and competitive boxers, has also recently launched a new program for youth age 10 to 16 and their ‘moms’ — called Newsgirls One-Two Combo.

Down the line, Howe said she’d also like to resume international exchanges with other like-minded boxing gyms around the world.

Last spring, Savoy, who has a theatre degree, wrote and performed a solo show called Newsgirl at the gym, as part of the Soulo Theatre Festival. From Sept. 21 to Sept. 24, she’ll be remounting the 70-minute show at the gym and donating a portion of the proceeds to female boxers in Calcutta.

For more information, visit http://torontonewsgirls.com.

Toronto Newsgirls Boxing Club on the ropes, but optimistic

Canada’s first female-owned boxing gym looking for Sugar Mamas

News Aug 22, 2017 by Joanna Lavoie Beach Mirror

The Toronto Newsgirls Boxing Club, Canada’s first female-owned boxing gym for women and trans people, is much more than just a fun place to punch things.

The Leslieville-based gym is a place where those it serves find out how strong they really are, said head coach Savoy "Kapow!" Howe during a recent interview.

“It’s life-changing. We give people hope,” said Howe, who founded the gym in 1996.

“For a boxing gym, Toronto Newsgirls is one of the safest spaces some of these women have ever experienced.”

Related Content

For the last 11 years, Toronto Newsgirls has been located in a 3,500 sq. ft industrial space on Carlaw Avenue, just south of Gerrard Street East.

Somehow, month after month, Howe has managed to scrape together the $5,000-plus needed to pay the rent.

“It’s not an easy way to live,” admitted Howe, who has recently called on friends and supporters as well as the 5,000 Newsgirls alumni to become a “Sugar Mama” and donate as little as $5 a month.

“We want to be able to offer affordable programming and we just want security,” said Howe, who also said it would be nice if she could actually draw a salary, hire a few coaches and even take a little time off.

Howe said things have been even more challenging as of late, as a longtime recreational boxing program at the 250-member gym that catered to female-identified individuals who have experienced violence “took a different direction” and unexpectedly relocated.

“Shape Your Life was one of our key sources of income at Newsgirls. At first, it was a shock, but crisis means opportunity,” said Howe, who designed and ran the program for 10 years.

“Every time something happens like this, I refuse to wallow. I see it as an opportunity to grow.”

Determined to continue to offer a recreational boxing program at the gym that would help empower women and trans people, she decided to revamp and expand the previous concept, and will soon be launching a new initiative called Outside the Ring.

“We’re urging participants to think different and consider new ideas,” she said of the new program, which will be open to women and trans people from all backgrounds, abilities, and walks of life starting in September.

“The goal is to reach out to the community, to those who may not think to enter a boxing gym.”

This fall, Howe will once again start up an amateur boxing team. The goal is to get the 16 members ready for their first fight within a year.

Toronto Newsgirls, which also offers training for recreational coaches and competitive boxers, has also recently launched a new program for youth age 10 to 16 and their ‘moms’ — called Newsgirls One-Two Combo.

Down the line, Howe said she’d also like to resume international exchanges with other like-minded boxing gyms around the world.

Last spring, Savoy, who has a theatre degree, wrote and performed a solo show called Newsgirl at the gym, as part of the Soulo Theatre Festival. From Sept. 21 to Sept. 24, she’ll be remounting the 70-minute show at the gym and donating a portion of the proceeds to female boxers in Calcutta.

For more information, visit http://torontonewsgirls.com.