Vernon taxpayers are entering the ring once again.
For the second year in a row, city council has agreed to support a major boxing tournament being held in the community.
“It’s a good event,” said Coun. Brian Quiring of the B.C. vs. Alberta Amateur Boxing Tournament being hosted by the local CounterPunch Boxing Club.
The city will provide $250 in sponsorship for the March 21 to 22 event, the same amount that was awarded to the 2013 Bronze Gloves tournament.
The B.C. vs. Alberta event is sanctioned by Boxing B.C. and will be the official lead-up to the 2014 nationals for Team B.C.
“Boxing has a long tradition in Vernon with two clubs,” said Tony Stamboulieh, CounterPunch head coach, in a letter to council.
“In 2011 and 2012, CounterPunch mounted two successful tournaments in the auditorium with estimated audiences of between 500 and 700 people attending this disciplined sport in a family atmosphere.”
Quiring isn’t concerned that some residents may object to tax dollars going to a sport they consider violent.
“It promotes youth athletics. It’s a sport like anything else,” he said.
Stamboulieh points out that all precautions are taken.
“Amateur boxing, the sweet science, is a highly disciplined, highly regulated Olympic sport with clear guidelines set out for the safety of our participants,” he said.