Photo L-R: Andre Gorges, Coach, Rock Steady Boxing Program, Karolina Gorges, Coach, Rock Steady Boxing Program, Lisa Nixon, Coordinator of Programs & Services, Parkinson’s Society Southwestern Ontario, Kevin Laforet, Regional President, Caesars Windsor, Josh Canty, Coach & Coordinator of Rock Steady Boxing Program

Parkinson Society SW Ontario Launch Rock Steady Boxing Windsor

The Parkinson Society Southwestern Ontario and Border City Boxing Club are fighting Parkinson’s with the launch of Rock Steady Boxing Windsor, now available in Windsor, thanks to a generous Caesars Windsor Cares donation.  Participants, from newly diagnosed to those who have been living with Parkinson’s for decades, are in the ring to fight this disease.

Led by experienced boxing coaches and trainers, the program involves exercises that address both motor and non-motor symptoms of Parkinson’s disease. Participants coming into the program may be experiencing rigidity, slow movement, stiffness, weakness and soft speech. This program addresses these symptoms with drills for optimal agility, speed, muscular endurance, accuracy, hand-eye coordination, footwork and overall strength. Non-motor symptoms such as depression, anxiety, apathy, fatigue are addressed as well. Attending Rock Steady Boxing brings clients out into a fun, non-judgmental atmosphere.

“Rock Steady Boxing is a unique exercise program based on training used by boxing pros, and adapted to people with Parkinson’s disease,” said certified Coach Andre Gorges.  “It involves regular exercises, such as stretching, bicycling, running, jump-roping, push-ups, balancing and non-contact boxing.” 

“For me personally, never would I have imagined doing something like this at the age of 75”, said Karen Ryan, program participant.  “When I first started the program, I had trouble getting into the ring and had to be helped in.  Now I can do it!”

Rock Steady Boxing offers a sense of community and is fun for everyone involved in the program.  “We are excited to be offering classes that help people fight back against Parkinson’s,” said Lisa Nixon, Coordinator of Programs and Services.  “Without the support of Caesars Windsor, we could not have brought this program to the region.” 

“Parkinson’s disease has affected many people in our community, including the families of our employees,” said Kevin Laforet, Regional President, Caesars.  “Our donation to the Rock Steady Boxing program represents our hope to create a level of support for people living with this disease and give them a new beginning for life.”

Rock Steady Boxing Windsor classes are geared to people of all stages of Parkinson’s disease, including men and women ranging in age from under 30 to over 90.

Parkinson’s is a progressive neurological disorder resulting from the loss of dopamine in a part of the brain called substantia nigra.  It is estimated that 100,000 Canadians are affected by Parkinson’s; and that everyday another 25 Canadians are newly diagnosed. While the average age of onset is between 50 and 60 years of age, it is not unusual to see people under 40 being diagnosed.  Medication can lessen the symptoms, but currently there is no cure.

Classes run MondayThursday and Saturday. Contact Border City Boxing Club to register for a class.

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