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Luke Willson Invites Parkinson’s Boxers to Train

Rock Steady Boxing Expands to Meet Local Need

Luke Willson and ETS Windsor invite Parkinson’s Boxers to Train at New Facility

April is Parkinson’s Disease Awareness Month and in recognition of this, the newly established Elite Training Systems (ETS Windsor) is opening its doors to local individuals who are fighting back against their Parkinson’s diagnosis as members of Rock Steady Boxing Windsor-Essex.

Rock Steady Boxing is a local boxing program normally run out of Border City Boxing Club, but this Thursday, April 11th at 4pm, Rock Steady boxers are invited to train with newly-signed NFL Oakland Raiders #82 and LaSalle native, Luke Willson, in the state-of-the-art elite training facility in Kennedy Collegiate’s former pool area (245 Tecumseh Road East).

A few weeks ago, Luke Willson joined the Rock Steady boxers at the Border City Boxing Club for some training, and now he is excited to offer them a chance to train with him. “At ETS, we are ability builders – we train for speed, strength, power, agility, and flexibility. We want athletes to perform at their highest level”, says Willson. “It’s a special honour to invite the Rock Steady family to ETS. I’ve seen how hard they push themselves when they train.”

Border City Boxing Club owner and Rock Steady Boxing Coach Josh Canty is thrilled to give his Rock Steady boxers a chance to train at ETS Windsor because “it is a chance to engage in rigorous exercise, the only proven way to improve Parkinson’s symptoms.” Various studies in the 1980s and 1990s supported the notion that rigorous exercise, emphasizing gross motor movement, balance, core strength, and rhythm, could favorably impact range of motion, flexibility, posture, gait, and activities of daily living. More recent studies, most notably at Cleveland Clinic, focus on the concept of intense “forced” exercise, and have begun to suggest that certain kinds of exercise may be neuro-protective, i.e., actually slowing disease progression.

Rock Steady Boxers attest, and academic institutions, such as University of Indianapolis and Butler University, are reporting and documenting the improved quality of life among our boxers. Discovery of a cure may be many years away but in the last seven years, there is evidence that progress is made in all stages of the disease by those participating in the RSB program.

An estimated 1 in 500 people in Canada are living with Parkinson’s (up to 6000 individuals in Windsor-Essex), and Rock Steady Boxing is the only of its kind in the Windsor-Essex area.

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