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Sudbury's Top Glove Boxing trades gloves for running shoes

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For the first time, Top Glove Boxing Academy in Sudbury is stepping out of the ring and onto the trail for a fundraising run.

“It’s all about just having a lot of fun,” said head coach Gord Apolloni. “That’s what Top Glove is all about. We’re like a family.”

After more than 30 years in the city, the non-profit boxing group took a hit on the chin during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Before COVID we had 120 members, we have 40 now. So it’s … a lot of damage,” said Apolloni.

“It’s really impacted us and you know, it’s just difficult to keep the doors open. The rents are now back up to their normal rates and it’s difficult to make that and so we’re basically having little fundraisers here and there to make ends meet.”

In an effort to keep the space open for everyone who needs it, Top Glove is holding a 5K fundraising run at Kivi Park on Aug. 13.

Over the years, Top Glove has focused on getting kids off the street and into the gym, giving them a positive space to spend their time and energy.

“A lot of the stories that we have at Top Glove are never heard of because it’s fallen behind the scenes,” Apolloni said.

He cited one example of a young boxer whose grades began to slide. So his mother considered pulling him from boxing.

“So I had to have a chat with him … well low and behold, fast forward 20 years and he now has his masters in sports psych, he’s working out west," said Apolloni.

"That’s just one of the stories. There’s many, many more.”

The entry fee for the fundraising run is $40, which includes a T-shirt. Proceeds will go to the boxing academy. So far, 44 people have signed up.

“Sudbury’s been an incredible town to support Top Glove Boxing Academy and we’re very, very lucky to have that,” he said.

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