Fighting through addiction

Men and women in Kelowna recovering from addiction have been taking to the ring to help with their recovery.

This past fall, MadKatz Boxing Club began inviting residents of the Karis Support Society women's recovery house and the Ozanam Recovery House for men to weekly training sessions.

“It's one of the things they look forward to in their week. And when you're in recovery, that's something that's kind of important,” said head coach Geoff Lawrence.

On Tuesday, four women from Karis Support Society were training.

Maureen Sadlier said she has surprised herself.

“I had hip surgery, so no way last year did I think I was going to be doing something like this,” she said. “To test yourself, to try, and you can do it, and you find yourself really good at it ... you can see yourself improving."

While the others have been coming for months, it was Elle Nadeau's first time.

“We thought timid, sweet little Elle, but she's out here trying to kill me,” Sadlier said, laughing.

“For my first day, I'm feeling the high off the endorphins and feeling empowered,” Nadeau said. “I feel like I'm building confidence here.”

Deanna Demeyere says she deals with anger issues, and the boxing classes have been a good way to “get it out.”

“We're getting our power back, because (in) a lot of situations in the past, we've felt powerless ... so it's nice to be in control and feeling that inner power."

The free lessons stem from this past summer's Three-Round Heroes boxing event, which pitted first-time boxers in the community against each other, while raising thousands of dollars to fund the charitable program.

Lawrence is looking for new recruits for the charity boxing event this summer, with training picking up in April. Anyone interested in taking part can reach him at 250-859-1397.

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