May 31, 2016
In 2012, with the collective efforts of boxing coaches, student leaders, and student athletes, who sought the opportunity to compete at the intercollegiate level, the United States Intercollegiate Association was formed. It soon developed into an entity that not only offered an ethical, safe platform for boxers nationwide, but also, a community where students could earn scholarships for their efforts as leaders and academic achievement.
Four years after its inception, the Associated Students (AS), with the support of campus partners, hosted the National Championships which took place over a three-day span, from April 7 to April 9. With over a hundred bouts, and nearly 150 competitors from 30 different universities, hosting the tournament was not a light undertaking for J.P Gale, Sport Clubs Manager, and the Sport Clubs staff. Gale was adamant and abundant in his praise of the various departments and personnel of AS, positing that each and every person held an indispensible role in the success of the event.
The weekend left an indelible impression in all facets, as USIBA has expressed their interest in the Associated Students hosting the National Championships again in 2018, while asking Brittany Bingham and Wyatt Blue from Athletic Training to revamp USIBA's medical procedures.
But the success doesn't end there: the CSUN Boxing Club clinched four National Championships, making Giovanna Miranda a two-time champion, while sending Lisa Porter to the Olympic Qualifiers. As Porter shared, "Back when my friends and I started the Boxing Club at CSUN we wanted to do a boxing event at the school and were told it would never happen! We wouldn't get the approval." Porter has come a far way since the days of advocating for the boxing club: as she reflects, "When I started boxing I was a student at CSUN and I was boxing for fun and exercise. I was a kinesiology student trying to find my place in the world and fell into my passion. Now I am going to have my first professional fight next month."
Lisa's story is a testament to the student success AS is committed to cultivating; not infrequently do students arrive to AS in search of their calling, and leave having found what they feel there were put here to do.
In addition to the campus' meritorious accomplishments, there were also the intimate, intangible successes which rose to the surface throughout the weekend, one of which came from a participant who expressed his gratitude to Gale, sharing that his family did not have the means to travel from Florida to make it to the competition, but because of the Live Stream – coordinated by the Matador Sports Network Staff, along with Steve DeLuca and Calvin Yun of AS IT – they were able to organize a viewing party and cheer on their son as they watched him compete from their home.
The impact and success of the Boxing Tournament extends far beyond the competition itself. To close with words from Lisa Porter: "I'm more than excited now to enter into a new realm of possibilities as I start my professional boxing career. If there is any advice I could give it comes from two of the most influential men in my adult life, my coach and a professor I greatly admire: ‘You must risk to grow to become your best because you create your future!'"