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Serving the communities of Massena and Potsdam, New York
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Boxing finds a new home in Massena

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MASSENA - After being homeless for just about a week, the Standing Rock Boxing Club has found a new, more high profile home - St. Lawrence Centre.

After being forced to leave the Sunrise mall,Club Trainer Atsiaktonkie said he approached the mall, to see if they would be open to hosting the club there.

“We had talked before,” he said. “But there we just had a couple things to iron out.

While a financial agreement between the club, which isn’t a money-maker for Atsiaktonkie, and the mall was undoubtedly one of the things that had to be ironed out, privacy for the club’s members was another.

“The mall wants people to see us working out,” he said. “At first the fighters didn’t want too, because they weren’t used to people watching them work out, but they’re getting used to it.”

The increased exposure has also more than doubled the club’s membership.

When the club closed its doors at the Sunrise Mall, Atsiaktonkie said they had roughly five members who worked out there on a regular basis. Now they have approximately 15, including many younger people, both boys and girls, who are new to the sport.

“The newer kids are loving it,” he said, adding children typically train from 4 to about 5:30 p.m. with the older, fighters coming in at 6.

Atsiaktonkie said the club, which is hoping to expand its hours in the future, offers varying levels of membership.

“If someone just comes in once in a while or wants to give it a try that’s $10 per lesson,” he said.

Contracted and paid in-full memberships are also available for either six months or a year, as is monthly membership.

Month by month membership is $74.99, while a six-month contract is $59.99 per month and a year contract is $49.99 per month.

People electing to pay in full for either a six month or a year receive a further discounted price of $329.99 for six months and $539.99 for a year.

“That membership is our best price available,” he said.

Each membership includes full access to any of the club’s classes, which include high cardio workouts, boxercise and training for either self-defense or maybe even to eventually compete in the ring.

“Boxers are the most fit athletes in the world,” Atsiaktonkie said. “There’s nothing else even close.”

He explained a high cardio workout “is pretty much our warm-up,” while boxercise incorporates actually throwing punches and other boxing skills, while not being on the receiving end of punches yourself.

“Some people want to learn how to box to defend themselves,” he said, while others take up the sport as a way to get off the streets.

“We work a lot with high risk youth,” he said. “A lot of times no one else will work with them.

“People come to us drinking and doing drugs, but the sport of boxing can change people’s lives,” he said, adding it’s hard to keep up with training while drinking or using drugs, something that often leads people to give up their bad habits for a new love.

Atsiaktonkie also said that everything he does at the club is volunteer.

“I don’t get paid for this,” he said.”The money we raise from lessons is used to help pay the rent.”

He also said the club is looking for businesses, clubs or individuals interested in sponsoring fighters from the club to help cover lodging expenses and meals while on the road for their bouts.

At this point the club is open Monday through Friday, but should membership continue to grow, Atsiaktonkie said he would like to see its hours expand.

“Our goal is to open whenever the mall is,” he said.

The club may be reached at 769-6905 or on Facebook by searching for Standing Rock Boxing Club.

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