These women are what it really means to be a fighter!

Learn more about one of our life coaches at New Beginnings Support Program, Kristina Ejem.  Kristina is the Founder and CEO of ‘Girls Just Wanna Box’. She has had many roles in boxing over the past twenty years; boxer, coach, fighter manager, gym manager, corporate boxing event producer, and promoter. Currently, Kristina is a Level 2 certified boxing coach and chair of the Female Development Committee for Boxing Ontario.

When a good friend and client of mine who has been involved with this amazing organization, the New Beginnings Support Program, asked me if I would spend an afternoon with a group of amazing women, I couldn’t say no. I was told they needed health and fitness tips, inspiration and were excited to learn some boxing basics.

That afternoon was a few years ago now and I was so inspired I’ve continued to stay involved with New Beginnings. After a few tears were shed (mostly mine!), I was able to teach them how to throw a punch. At the time this was done in person. Most importantly, I was also able to get them excited about taking their health seriously and becoming their own health advocates. As a boxing coach and trainer, I work with male and female boxers regularly, but these women are the real deal because they embody what it truly means to be a fighter! They are resilient, determined, and hard-working.

Improving Health and Fitness During the Pandemic 

We know that the pandemic has disproportionally affected women more than men. When I was given the opportunity to work with this year’s program participants online via Zoom I couldn’t have been more excited. Over the pandemic, I have been working a lot more on the mental health aspects of movement and nutrition.

The bottom line is that we must take responsibility for what we put into our bodies and how we treat it.

Health is wealth but health is not just for the wealthy and privileged.

Over the years I have worked with quite a few women who have come from other countries, where fresh non-processed food is less expensive and more accessible. Whether they realize it or not, the stress of the move and being displaced, among other situations, push their minds and bodies beyond capacity. Being able to coach these super inspiring women to move towards healthier choices and get moving is extremely rewarding. With some guidance to give themselves the space to make mistakes and an understanding that this is a journey, not of perfection but progression and patience, they can and have made huge strides in a very short time.

Tips from a Trainer

Everyone is unique and so are their journeys to health and happiness. I am happy to be part of that discovery as a coach. It’s never too late to take your health seriously and we can start with my number one non-negotiable! – Start drinking a minimum of two litres of water a day, (my tip is to use a litre jug glass or BPA-free to keep track easier). You can even add some lemon, cucumber, or any of your favourite fruits, herbs, or veggies. Hydration is the key to health, so what are you waiting for!?

The New Beginnings Support Program is so important to empowering and changing the lives of these women and their children, which is why I am honoured to be part of their regular programming. I consider myself lucky to be a small and positive part of these women’s journeys.

About New Beginning Support Program

New Beginnings Support Program is a charity providing Women’s Economic Empowerment (WEE) and life stabilization solutions for under-served and racialized women. Through our education, Step-into-Success and internship programs we empower women to become self-confident, career-oriented and employable. Significant numbers of our clients are from Toronto and its BIPOC community.

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