Thomas Murphy | November 7, 2017
Baraka Bouts, the annual women’s boxing tournament hosted by the Notre Dame Women’s Boxing Club, began yesterday evening at the Dahnke Ballroom of the new Duncan Student Center.
Now in its 15th year, Baraka Bouts will feature 120 amateur fighters over the course of three days to raise money for the Holy Cross Missions in East Africa, third-year law student and vice president of Women’s Boxing Club Ashley Berding said. So far, the club has raised $90,000, surpassing last year’s total of $62,000, and all proceeds will be used to build a new dormitory for a secondary school in Uganda, she said.
The tournament seeks to build camaraderie through boxing and charity, Berding said.
“The camaraderie and sportsmanship of everybody there creates a very unique and all-encompassing experience,” she said. “It’s not just about you. It’s also about your teammates and the mission.”
Berding said boxing gives participants the opportunity to gain confidence both in and out of the ring.
“It’s so rewarding to see someone come in who says, ‘I can’t do this. I don’t think I can do this,’ and then by the end of the season they’re confident,” she said. “Seeing them build that confidence is something that, especially as woman, is hard to gain. Being able to get over that mental hurdle is something they can take to other aspects of their life that have nothing to do with boxing.”