Sunday, April 21, 2024

‘I’ve grown so much’: Westshore boxer and abuse survivor looks confidently toward her future


A boxer, single mom, and survivor of abuse from the Westshore has lived a difficult yet inspiring life, and she is finally in a place where her dreams are becoming reality. 

Rachael Spurling began boxing in 2017, at first just for fitness, but then she found it more and more empowering. 

She got serious about the sport and began an Instagram page for her boxing endeavours and soon after was scouted to be on the first season of a athletics-based reality competition show, Canada’s Ultimate Challenge

Through the show and her social media, she was quite vocal about the fact she had been in an abusive relationship and that for her, boxing was a catalyst for finding her freedom from that situation.


Sooke resident competes on new reality TV series ‘Canada’s Ultimate Challenge’

“If I had started boxing a long time before I did I wouldn’t have stayed for how many years as I did in that abusive marriage,” Spurling explained. 

“If I am really vocal about it and people see that, and it helps even just one person get out of an abusive relationship then that’s what’s important to me.”

While on the show, Spurling made it all the way to the semi-finals, and was a part of the team that was the runner up to the show’s winners—she says the experience was a big feat for her confidence.

After the show

“I learned a lot actually, on that show,” Spurling said. “I’ve grown so much since then and it’s only been a short period of time.”

“The feeling I got before I’d go out to do the challenge—because we didn’t know what we were doing until like 10 minutes before.”

She says it was a very anxious, nervous feeling, not knowing what type of challenge she would be facing; a feeling reminiscent of the feeling she’d get before a boxing match.

“Since then I’ve developed a much better backbone for myself, sticking up for myself

After she came back to Sooke with her newfound courage, she got back to work boxing, teaching women boxing to try to pass that along and getting herself fight-ready for her next chance at stepping in the ring. 

Spurling’s next challenge

Recently, through Westshore Boxing Gym, Spurling was invited to be on the amateur card for an upcoming pro boxing event which will be taking place in town. 

She is excited and filled with confidence since this is only her second official fight, and her first one since returning from Canada’s Ultimate Challenge. 

In her first fight, she won all three rounds, so she is hoping that in her next match, she can do the same. 

“I’ve grown a lot as a boxer since then, and I’ve done the show since then,” said Spurling.

Now that the show is wrapped and all its episodes have aired, she is even finding that other women have been approaching her telling her that she was imperative in helping them get out of a similarly abusive situation. 

“I have a lot of girls message me on my Instagram page about it and how I’ve inspired them,” Spurling told Victoria Buzz. 

“I get little messages here and there that make me know that they’re watching and that I’m helping them out.”

Spurling said that after getting home from being on the show, she took part in a Bridges for Women course and ended up meeting a young woman there who she now trains at Westshore Boxing Gym. 

Her second fight is to take place on May 11th at Champ Promotions in Saanich. Tickets for this event are available online

Spurling also has a six week, women’s only boxing program out of Westshore Boxing Gym beginning on March 8th.

“If I can go further with it I totally will,” Spurling explained. 

Spurling told Victoria Buzz she is hoping to acquire sponsorship from local businesses ahead of her match in May, because as a single mom, she finds it hard to keep up with the costs that come along with boxing. 

Curtis Blandy

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