On the Ropes Boxing and Fitness is a new boxing gym that recently opened its doors on Knight Street in Warwick, and has big goals as it is set to kick things off in the upcoming weeks.
On the Ropes was founded by four local women with extensive backgrounds in boxing, fitness and nutrition, who hope to use the sport as way to promote a healthy lifestyle and a sense of community in the greater Warwick area.
“I continued to teach at a lot of other gyms and I took a break over the summer. I really started to miss it and I wanted a place of my own. Our team, we all knew each other for a while so it all came about. It allows me to train people, work hard and stay in the sport,” said co-owner Jaime “Hurricane” Clampitt Hayes, a former WBFF competitor that enjoyed a 10-year professional career in the ring and also serves as the gym’s lead trainer. “We’re like a family. Everybody works with each other, helps each other out. We bring people from all experience levels in here ... from day one to professional fighters. Everyone works well together and we’ve built a nice little family here.”
Although they were not sure of how great the turnout would be in the early going, the co-owners have already welcomed a solid core of newcomers, and are optimistic as they continue to build for the future.
“We actually found the location from one of our clients (at the YMCA) and when we saw this space, we felt like it was a perfect fit. We did whatever we could to make it work because we were looking for a home. We wanted to create a gym in a space that we liked. When we first decided that we wanted to do this, we thought, ‘Is anybody really going to come?’ But we’ve been pleasantly surprised. We’ve had people come in and now it’s on us to keep it going,” said co-owner Amy Cham, who is also the gym’s lead fitness coach. “There are a lot of fitness studios around, there are a lot of gyms around, but I like to think that we’re something a little different, a little unique to add to all of these other places in the community.”
Fellow co-owner, USA boxing coach and personal trainer Tracy Lombard echoed those sentiments, and looks forward to the opportunity to introduce a sport that she feels is sometimes overlooked to Warwick.
“People are curious. It’s intimidating at first, but once they come in and meet the people here, they end up coming back. I think we’re what keeps them coming back because it can be scary. People think about boxing and think, ‘I don’t want to get hit,’ but it’s so much more than that. It’s the work out, the lifestyle,” said Lombard. “I think it’s sometimes a forgotten sport. You think about baseball, and these big sports, but hopefully we can remind people (about boxing).”
On the Ropes offers classic boxing lessons, as well as beginner classes and family classes. It also offers many fitness activities such as core blast workouts, full body bootcamps, strength bootcamps, among others. Lombard and company have plans to expand their offerings in the upcoming weeks as well.
“One thing that we offer is pop up classes. Nutrition, yoga, fight nights … a few of us from the gym are actually going to a fight. Maybe introduce fitness challenges where people can make goals for themselves and have check-ins. We want to continue that community element,” said Lombard.
“We’re working with (Warwick PAL). They haven’t had a boxing program in many years so we’re working with them to gauge the interest right now,” added Clampitt Hayes. “We want to try to open it up to kids in the city and maybe even to other communities. It’s really important to get kids involved ... whether it’s cross training for other sports or just building confidence, it’s great for kids.”
Co-owner Kathy Lyons, who also serves as a Deputy Warden with the Rhode Island Department of Corrections, has also embraced the opportunity to submerge herself in a new routine, and is thankful for the change of pace it provides.
“It’s very humbling. It was a big turning point for me to get into this career considering my age and what I do for a living. For me, it’s very humbling, it changes you, it opens you up to a much healthier lifestyle. I come from a very negative environment so for me to come into something that’s extremely positive it changes your outlook,” said Lyons. “It’s a whole experience where you can create balance, be disciplined, be regimented, stay focused. I love these guys like they’re my family … they are my family.”
On the Ropes will be hosting an open house this Saturday (Feb. 16) from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. on site at 334 Knight Street in Warwick. The open house will include a meet and greet with the co-owners, as well as special packages for memberships, raffles, and more.
More than anything, the staff at On the Ropes looks forward to providing a place for people to build confidence and enjoy a healthy lifestyle in the city.
“We want everyone to feel like a champion when thy leave here. It doesn’t matter if you’re a beginner or an expert, you are a champion,” said Lyons. “You leave here feeling good about yourself and you feel like you’ve worked hard. You have a great sense of accomplishment. It can provide the community with a sense of comfort. People are here working hard to stay healthy and boxing can provide that, it’s a lifestyle.”