Boxing for education

Upon graduating from university, Marcel Greaux travelled to Ethiopia and had an experience laden with profundity. Not only did it provide perspective, but it instilled purpose and inspired a promise: To return some day and help make a difference.

That trip has come full circle.

Greaux is part of a group that launched Toronto Real Estate Rumble, a charity boxing tournament that will raise funds in support of imagine1day and We, two charities that are endeavouring to ensure all Ethiopian children have access to quality education by 2030.

With a substantial 50% donation from The Greaux Foundation and Garrison Hill Developments, imagine1day and We—who joined forces only a few months ago—have facilitated the development of an early childhood centre, elementary school, library and a well in Freselam, Ethiopia.

The 24 volunteer TRERumble fighters must each raise $1,000, which will go towards building another childhood centre, for which $35,000 is the target goal.

Emily MacDougall, director of international programs at We, says educated youth is imperative for any society’s future.

“This event will help us achieve the goal of empowering youth to change the world through access to education,” said MacDougall. “When young people are educated, they’re armed with the courage and self-confidence to better themselves and their families, their communities and the next generations.”

Not for the faint of heart
The fighters—12 men and 12 women—are undertaking grueling regimens in preparation for their fights. TRERumble, which is sanctioned by Boxing Ontario, involves 12 weeks of training under Olympic boxing luminary Mark Simmons, and Mandy Bujold, who represented Canada at the Pan Am and Commonwealth Games, as well as strict dieting. Greaux says the volunteer fighters will be virtually unrecognizable by the time they enter the ring.

“The fighters are average Joes working in the real estate industry, transforming their bodies, minds and lives with this training,” Greaux, managing director of Garrison Hill Developments, told CREW. “There’s a lot of commitment involved, a lot of perseverance. I trained with them briefly and now I wouldn’t be able to keep up. The level of fitness they’re in is unbelievable. Their commitment, desire and level of excitement is fun to see.”

The volunteer fighters hail from different corners of the real estate industry; they’re everything from mortgage brokers, real estate sales agents, lawyers, developers, project managers, home inspectors, and more. About 90 to 100 of them showed up, but not everybody made the cut.

Michael Clancy of Clancy’s Boxing Academy, Foundry Mortgage Capital’s Brennan Wood, Concrete Mortgage’s Daniel Mandel and Garrison Hill’s Greaux teamed up to start TRERumble, and they’re thrilled by the response it’s received.

Greaux says he hopes this event can be thrown annually.

“We hope it’s something that will be accepted and that we’re able to continue this next year,” he said. “At this point, we want to get through the first one, but we do plan on continuing something of this nature because we got a good response. We’ll have quite a few people at the event.

“It’s one thing to be receptive, but another to get participants to step into the ring and commit to training three, four times a week, which is the level of commitment these fighters are putting forth.”

If you are interested in purchasing tickets to the event, click here.
Click here to donate to one of the fighters.

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