Ball State’s first amateur boxing club brings students together

The Daily News

One Ball State club is making way as the first of its kind in an Indiana state school.

While the club offers an athletic outlet, some are hesitant to join. 

“I don’t want to get punched in the face” is one excuse that Thom Giffin, club president, has heard.

Ball State is the first university in Indiana to have an amateur boxing club, categorized as a non-competitive boxing fitness club.

Hits can only be thrown into the air, mitts and punching bags. The club has 11 active members. 

Giffin, a junior natural resources major, said he was inspired to start the club because it is a big tradition in his family. Giffin went to the YMCA in Fishers, Ind., with his uncle last summer to train with a former professional boxer. He uses the techniques he learned to instruct the club practices.

The processing of paperwork and multiple trips to the Office of Student Life began in January 2013. 

“They just wanted to make sure there were safety precautions,” Giffin said. 

For the school year, the president said he is looking for the club to grow in size and skill. The focus will maintain on improving technique, fitness and health.

Junior exercise science major Jessica Burger was the first woman to join. Since joining the club, it has been commonplace for Burger to return to her room with an increased heart rate, red cheeks and hands shaky from adrenaline. 

“It was kind of fun because I had to keep up with the boys,” Burger said. “But it wasn’t intimidating because they showed me the ropes and taught me everything.” 

She hadn’t done any type of fighting before, but Burger said she was looking to learn a form of self-defense at college. Burger also uses boxing as a way to work out and stay healthy.

The group is non-competitive, but members can compete individually or at other gyms. There is a local coach that attends practices occasionally. The club is in the process of making a website to notify others of practice times and locations. 

A normal weekday practice begins with a warm-up, boxing specific instructional drills, core, cardio and stretching to cool-down. The practices last for approximately two hours.

Outside of boxing, some of the members lift weights or do cardio together. 

Giffin said he would like to spectate at boxing tournaments with the members and watch televised professional boxing matches and movies.


Those interested in joining can email or attend a practice which will be in the Wellness and Recreation Center in room 212A and 212B. Meeting times and dates have yet to be determined.