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Year of wins in and out of ring lead to Nelson Boxing Club named best in B.C.

The club also received awards for best youth boxer and a student-athlete honour
The Nelson Boxing Club has been named the best in B.C. L-R: Riel Martinez, Matt Brown, coach Jesse Pineiro, Jaxon Zaytsoff and Lola Brouillette are seen here in Salmon Arm on April 27 after receiving their awards. Photo: Submitted

The Nelson Boxing Club has been named the best club in B.C.

BC Boxing handed out its annual awards during a card in Salmon Arm on April 27 and honoured Nelson with three awards, including best youth boxer Riel Martinez and a student-athlete award to fighter Jack Dool.

It’s the second time Nelson has won provincial award after previously capturing it in 2018, and follows a year of accomplishments.

In 2023 the club had fighters represent Team B.C. and Team Canada at events in Mexico, Ireland and Colombia, while also winning three provincial titles in November. One of its athletes, Lola Brouillette, was named the city’s sports ambassador.

Since then the club also won its first national title when Milane D’Aurelie took gold in March.

Head coach Jesse Pineiro said the provincial recognition means a lot to a club that had to rebuild after COVID-19.

“We put out really good fighters here and we win most of our fights and we’re competing at a provincial and national level, but we’re also doing it from this place where every fight is an eight-hour drive and we fight every weekend. It’s a lot of work that went into that and I think that’s what people see.”

Martinez was recognized after he won a provincial title in November. Still just a teenager, Martinez fought for the first time in the elite division against boxers in their mid-20s.

He also won gold only eight days after the death of his brother and former Nelson fighter Elias, which Pineiro said was an achievement in itself.

“Operating at that level, just like surpassing things that normal human beings can’t deal with, and also boxing, which is not easy. It’s a hard sport. Just so, so well deserved and we are super proud of him for that as well.”

Dool, 15, was the recipient of the Jimmy Syms Award. Pineiro said the honour goes to fighters who show sportsmanship and are a positive presence in their club and community.

“I can’t think of anybody who embodies those things more. Jack doesn’t always win this fights, but I never have to tell him to work harder. I never have to tell him to train harder. I never have to tell him to show up. He’s always positive. Even in the most ridiculous circumstances where other people would get discouraged, he just keeps going and he’s a great teammate.”

Pineiro meanwhile has also received an honour he’s worked his entire career toward.

The current city councillor and former sports ambassador is one of nine coaches who have been selected to the Canadian national team.

Pineiro, who is also serving as Team B.C.’s head coach, was the only coach located west of Ontario to be picked. He’ll work with both youth and senior fighters at national and international events.

“It’s something that for me to get that recognition means a lot because I’ve been working at this for a long time. And that’s always been a goal, it’s always been the goal for me to be at that level and to produce fighters at that level.”

Nelson fighter Jack Dool (bottom centre) is surrounded by teammates after winning the Jimmy Syms Award. Photo: Submitted

Tyler Harper

About the Author: Tyler Harper

I’m editor-reporter at the Nelson Star, where I’ve worked since 2015.
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