On December 9 at The Great Hall, PinkMafia hosted the second round of GirlFight. This fundraising event was created by PinkMafia’s founder Anna Von Frances and featured all-female K1 Thai Boxing. The event was hosted by Hook Up Muay Thai and MMA Fighter Robin Black. The first round of GirlFight, which was the very first all-female boxing even in Toronto, took place last year and raised over $5000 for Nellie’s. This year Anna’s goal was to raise $10,000 to go towards building a new shelter for the women and children escaping violence, poverty, and homelessness.
A question that has been addressed to us a few times is: “Why would a women’s shelter host an event that features women fighting?” Here is our answer:
Women who come to Nellie’s are fleeing violence that is perpetrated by an aggressor against a victim. It is unwanted, and leaves lasting physical and psychological trauma, as well as emotional damage. Violence against women is a human rights abuse.
GirlFight is a sporting event that features boxing and kick boxing between two consenting women who are trained professionals. The women participating in GirlFight come to the event expecting and wanting to compete, the match is refereed and sanctioned and can end at any time if one of the participants wants to stop, and the sport is based on endurance, technique and strategy. None of the women at GirlFight are experiencing aggression against their will. Everything that occurs is consensual, sanctioned, and professional.
Anna Von Frances, the creator of this event and a boxer herself describes her experience participating in the sport as follows: “Boxing and kickboxing have taught me to stay calm in heated situations and above all, that I do not have to be victimized by anyone, anytime. It’s the most empowering thing I’ve ever done and has given me the confidence as well as a sense of community that I’ve never had before.” Girlfight promotes self-esteem and empowerment through physical fitness and positive expressions of aggression and aims to promote the sport to more women in the community.
Debby Cabral, a fighter from Hook Up Muay Thai who was at this year's GirlFight spoke to She Does the City about what boxing means to her: “What I love most about Muay Thai is that it has changed my life forever. I was in a dark place for a long time and didn’t really have any goals. Once I discovered Muay Thai and my family at Hook Up, everything changed for the better.” Read more about Debby here.
This post originally appeared on Nellie's Blog.
Image via Nellie's Shelter on Facebook.