24 February, 2023

Award wins for Spiders Boxing Club

The Caboolture-based Spiders Boxing Club Inc won one award and earned runner-up status with two other awards, as the national Good Sports Awards ceremony took place at Parliament House on Thursday, February 9.

Award wins for Spiders Boxing Club - feature photo

Spiders Boxing Club was crowned the 2022 Good Sports National Club of the Year “for going above and beyond in making its club healthy and inclusive”.

The club was also runner-up in the 2022 Good Sports National Club of the Year award “for adopting practices and strategies to improve the wellbeing of its members, inspiring positive change and building a healthy, family-friendly club environment where everyone feels welcome”.

The club’s president Kylie Burford was named runner-up for the Queensland Good Sports Volunteer of the Year award “for making the club stronger and more inclusive, by going above and beyond the usual undertakings of a volunteer”.

The Awards recognised the work of Australia’s sporting clubs and volunteers in terms of the work they do with the Alcohol and Drug Foundation’s Good Sports program. This includes tackling topics like alcohol, illicit drugs, smoking, mental health, and safe transport.

Kylie and partner Luke Sheehan took over the running of Spiders Boxing Club about 14 years ago, before registering it as a not-for-profit organisation in late 2013.

Whereas the club usually had only two classes per week when Kylie and Luke started their time there, nowadays the club sometimes has up to five classes in a day.

Kylie said it was amazing to receive the recognition for the hard work that went into Spiders Boxing Club, and to be recognised by the Alcohol and Drug Foundation.

“It’s such a big organisation nationwide, so to be recognised by them is next level for us,” she said.

While Kylie said she and Luke had aimed for Spiders to be an elite boxing club, she said there was a lot more to it than boxing.

“We kept it family friendly, so everyone felt welcome,” she said.

“We work with all ages, genders, backgrounds, and abilities, to ensure everyone in the community has an opportunity to benefit.

“Spiders Boxing Club encompasses everyone with compassion, in a caring way, that everyone deserves.

“Spiders Boxing Club encourages positive mental health and community connection through attendance and development of fundraising, local community events and family fun days, bringing the community together and helping them connect.”

Administration Officer Emily Mooney said Kylie was “truly inspiring” and “the beating heart of the club for many years”.

“The relationships she builds within the club is just phenomenal,” Emily said.

“Some even look up to her as family, as she goes above and beyond for anyone and everyone.”

The ‘safe transport’ aspect of Spiders Boxing Club was evidenced by gaining funds for a bus, which has been used to transport people to sparring classes, boxing tournaments, fundraisers and other community events.

“It also helps single parents and working families, and assists with bringing the community together,” Kylie said.

As for what was the key for Spiders Boxing Club to achieve what it has, Kylie said, “All the people who’ve dedicated time, effort and money, from our committee to our employees, volunteers, members and the community.

“Even our employees put in volunteers hours, with things like a weekend sausage sizzle, and family fun days.”

Kylie said it was a case of “getting out of it what you put into it,” while “the rewards far outweigh what we put into it. Just to see the kids growing, and to see the next generation coming through”.

Kylie said the club also mentored a variety of people to help enhance career outcomes, while some classes were aimed at empowering young women. Members could also be supported with referrals to help and support services around general health, mental health, counselling, employment and financial support.

Kylie said there was still room for the club to grow and expand, with yoga among the new additions.

Alcohol and Drug Foundation’s Queensland manager Martin Milne said the Good Sports Awards were the ultimate trophy for any Good Sports club.

“They shine the spotlight on success, celebrate the volunteers who are the backbone of Good Sports clubs and gives winning clubs the recognition they deserve,” he said.


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