A group of empowering women are applying all of their strength against muscular dystrophy.
Under the team name The Knockouts, the girls are all members of 30 Minute Hit, which offers boxing and kickboxing for women.
On June 6, they’ll be trying to pull a fire truck, weighing about 35,000 pounds, as they compete in the first Penticton Fire Fighters Truck Pull Challenge in support of Muscular Dystrophy Canada.
To get the muscles they’ll need in top shape, the Knockouts found a large recreational vehicle to haul across an empty parking lot at Moduline Industries Ltd. on May 26.
In order to do well, gym owner Treena Hendrickson said the team will have to strengthen their leg and core muscles.
“I’m doing this to prove that women can do anything they want, as cheesy as that sounds,” said Hendrickson. “We don’t always feel invincible at first – things like this really empower women.”
“Most of us have never done a truck pull before, so we want to know what it feels like, and it’s about coming together as a team and seeing what we can do,” said team member Tina Myers.
There is no division for ladies nor is there a handicap, but they don’t see a disadvantage.
With around 20 women willing to take part, The Knockouts are considering forming two teams, as each roster can only take on eight people.
“We can do it as a team and together we can succeed,” said Myers.
The 30 Minute Hit community has a history of competing in enduring events — they’ve participated in Mudderella and dragonboat tournaments, so upon hearing of the Fire Fighters Truck Pull Challenge, Myers said it was natural for the women to form a team.
“This isn’t officially through the gym, it’s through members since there is that sense of community and wanting to come together for team events.”
Myers said the strong sense of community comes from Hendrickson’s spirit.
“She’s very encouraging to everybody and you almost go in there and there’s a sense of community,” she said. “Women can go in there, and if they’ve ever been intimidated by gyms before, they actually do really well here because it is such a sensitive community and everybody’s encouraging everybody.”
The event will be open to a maximum of 16 teams and has a goal of raising $5,000. As of May 27, the campaign had just passed the halfway point. The Knockouts’ goal is to raise $2,000.
Muscular dystrophy progressively weakens of the body’s muscles, the ability to walk, speak and eventually breathe.
Myers has been actively involved in supporting Muscular Dystrophy Canada — she works as an education assistant at Queen’s Park Elementary and said the school holds a walk in support of the cause each year.
The pull will take place during the Downtown Community Market on June 6 at 9 a.m. The winning team will receive a trophy, which Hendrickson said is better than any prize.
To register as a team or donate to the event, visit http://goo.gl/DGzS55.