Shape Your Life and Embrace Your Aggression: A Boxing Project for Female and Trans Survivors of Violence

in Women in Sport and Physical Activity Journal
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  • 1 Brock University
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This article focuses on an action research project called Shape Your Life, developed to teach women and transgendered survivors of violence recreational boxing at the Toronto Newsgirls Boxing Club, Canada’s only women-led boxing club. In this innovative project, participants were encouraged to explore “healthy aggression” as a means of initiating change in their lives. As most research on aggression in sport focuses on young men, the aggression of girls, women, and trans (transgendered and transsexual) individuals remains a much under-studied topic. This article attempts to open up further dialogue on gender, sport, and aggression by providing an account of survivors’ aggression as an important source of empowerment, thereby moving beyond the narrow focus on female aggression as harm inducing and a cause for moral panic. The article also highlights the need for practical approaches to physical activity and sport programming that address the needs of participants whose lives are affected by gender-based violence.

Cathy van Ingen, Ph.D. Associate Professor, Physical Education & Kinesiology Brock University 500 Glenridge Avenue St. Catharines, ON Canada L2S 3A1 E-mail: cathy.vaningen@brocku.ca Phone: (905) 688-5550 ext. 4981 Fax: (905)688-8364

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