N.B. seniors fight against aging through boxing class
A group of senior citizens in New Brunswick has taken up boxing as a way of fighting back against aging.
Quispamsis native Alleyne Huggard still packs a punch at 97-years-old.
"It is hard work, but it's fun too," explains Huggard. "Especially if you make a good (punch)."
Huggard is one of seniors in the KV Golden Gloves Seniors Boxing Program which launched about a year ago in partnership with a local care facility.
The idea came from Megan O’Hara, a boxer who also works as the director of community relations for the Kings Way Lifecare Alliance.
O’Hara says the program allows the seniors to get some much-needed exercise and combat some typical ailments of aging, while socializing at the same time.
“It’s kind of something that’s unconventional, it’s not expected,” explains O’Hara.
At her age, Alleyne Huggard is certainly someone who’s defying expectations, and doing it with a whole lot of personality, as she lands puches left and right without pulling any.
“The best punches I like are the ones where I hit somebody and they land on the floor,” says Huggard.
“The word spunky comes to mind,” says KV Golden Gloves owner Tim Hayes. “You know when you look at a lady that’s almost 98-years-old, not only is she physical- she will hit stuff and she enjoys hitting it- but her mind is sharp.”
For senior citizens like Huggard, the program is more than a chance to get out and get active. Research shows that exercise can also help seniors fight back against diseases like Parkinson’s.
“Some of our people have MS and Parkinson’s disease in addition to the people that have dementia, and having the opportunity to do something physical is good for them,” says O’Hara.
“Boxing for Parkinson’s is huge right now, all over the world,” adds Hayes.
Huggard and the other participants of Golden Gloves continue to fight for their fitness in their golden years.
With files from CTV Atlantic’s Laura Lyall.