By Sonja Hansen
Stanford Club Boxing, which has operated as an unofficial club sport since September, has faced obstacles in trying to secure funding from Student Activities and Leadership (SAL) as they struggle to find on-campus practice space and overcome liability concerns.
After submitting an official application and meeting in October with Club Athletics Director Christian Obando, club members were told they would need to reapply in winter quarter, founder Dylan Ly ’22 said.
The group submitted a “rough draft” of its second application via email to SAL on Jan. 29, but were told that the two main challenges to accepting Club Boxing are liability issues posed to Stanford that arise from its support of an off-campus activity, as well as the amount of funding needed for coaching and practice room fees.
Currently, membership is $30 per month and $5 per drop-in. At the first session, participants may borrow gloves for free, but at any following practices, they must buy them for $40. In addition, students must split the cost of taking an Uber to the gym whenever students with cars are unavailable to drive. The annual fee to register with U.S.A. Boxing is $25.
Lloyd Lyall ’19, a peer advisor at SAL, estimated that the club would need $10,000 a year to cover its monthly expenses of $1,000. Because this amount is unlikely to be raised solely through membership fees, he suggested to Ly that the Associated Students of Stanford University (ASSU) or The Stanford Fund might be able to assist.
“Groups requiring significant University resources including faculty/staff time, space, funding in excess of $10,000 and specific University oversight may be asked to do additional work before an application can be accepted,” wrote Pat Harris, Student Affairs spokesperson, in an email to The Daily. “All applicants are encouraged to re-apply as needed.”
Harris noted that since receiving Lyall’s response on Jan. 30, the group has not yet submitted another formal application.
Lyall also suggested that Club Boxing reach out to Obando to inquire on the availability of on-campus practice space as an alternative to the current space its members pay coach Nick Bellafatto to use in Redwood City, Peninsula Boxing & Fitness. Ly said Obando told him that there may be some rooms available but no storage for equipment, which means boxers would work with only gloves and training mitts.
Ly said that Joe Pellow, Operations Scheduling Manager for Stanford Recreation and Wellness, told him there were rooms available to rent at the Arrillaga Outdoor Education and Recreation Center (AOERC) and that once Club Boxing becomes an official club sport, renting a room could be discussed.
While a SAL committee reviews applications, Harris said, a committee consisting of ASSU leaders, SAL peer advisors and staff from units with advising responsibilities, such as the Haas Center for Public Service or Athletics, makes the final decision concerning a club’s status.
“The plan of action right now is to establish a platform that the club can jump off of and get more widespread support, which will give the club a better chance of getting started,” Ly said.
To achieve this, Ly said that he might participate in a boxing competition to raise student interest.
Stanford Club Boxing has held their practices in Redwood City on Mondays and Thursdays from 8 to 9 a.m. since the start of winter quarter.
Co-founder Jennifer Lugardo ’22 said that, aside from the expense, students have been hesitant to join Stanford Club Boxing because of the early practice hours and the distance to the gym. If the club receives funding, these fees will be discounted, and the club may hold practice in a rented room at AOERC.
Harris wrote that SAL is concerned with “securing a space specifically designed for boxing in order to provide for the health and safety of all participants.”
“These discussions are ongoing,” she wrote.
Contact Sonja Hansen at smhansen ‘at’ stanford.edu.