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Local boxer, coach punch ticket to represent Canada at Continental Championships in Cali, Colombia

The Nelson Daily Sports
By The Nelson Daily Sports
July 17th, 2023

For the past two-plus years, Nelson Boxer Lola Brouillette has been pounding the heavy bag, dodging, and weaving punches in the training ring and skipping for what has seemed to be an eternity to make her mark in the sport she dearly loves.

Just last month, the 17-year-old Nelson Boxer received news that she hopes will springboard her career to her eventual goal, a spot someday on the Canadian Boxing Olympic Team.

Brouillette is one of a handful of boxers that will form the Canadian Youth Team that will compete at the upcoming Canada at the Continental Championships, August 3-10, in Cali, Colombia.

Brouillette will also been afforded the luxury of entering the international stage with her personal coach after Nelson Boxing and Athletics Club as skipper Jesse Pineiro was selected as one of three coaches to head the Canadian Junior Boxing Team.

The other two Youth National Coaches are from Ontario and Quebec.

“I think this is an amazing opportunity and (at the same time) it’s pretty bizarre that I’ve come this far in this amount of time (so) I’m pretty proud of myself for doing this,” the 5’4” Brouillette said during a break from training at the Nelson Boxing Club facility on Baker Street.

Brouillette, competing in the 52Kg female division, has only been at the sport for a short time but has excelled enough to turn heads of National Team staff.

“I started boxing and instantly fell in love with the sport and have been dedicated since I had that first boxing class and decided to go and just get better,” Brouillette said.

“And I started learning about the sport about how you can grow and go to the Olympics and just kind of shot at the stars and wanted it.”

Pineiro is excited to have the chance, not only to coach at this level, but to tutor Brouillette in Colombia.

“Lola has got nowhere to go, but up,” said Pineiro, adding a key to Brouillette early success has been a great attitude and dedication.

“She’s been boxing for two years and it’s just phenomenal to see her at this level.”

“She has an amazing amount of talent,” Pineiro adds.

“We’re just fine tuning some things and in boxing some of these lessons come easy when you’re talented like she is.”

For Pineiro, his road to coaching on the National stage has been a little longer.

He’s been part of the Nelson Boxing facility since the doors opened in 2013 and has spearheaded the growth of the athletes for the last decade — driving local boxers to cards throughout the Pacific Northwest when he’s not organizing local fight nights or working at the boxing gym.

“I’ve been working at this for my whole life . . . this is how big it is for me, this is huge for me,” said Pineiro, who also added to his workday by running, and being elected, to Nelson City Council last year.

“I’m really excited to get this opportunity. It’s been a lot of work that has gone into me to being confident that I can do something at this level, and it feels good that other people have that confidence in me as well.”

The Nelson contingent of Brouillette and Pineiro leave for Cali, Colombia at the end of July, departing from Spokane, Washington for an all-day plane ride to the northern South American country.

“This is a developmental team . . . it’s our youth team and to have success at an international level for our national team we need to compete on the youth stage,” Pineiro said when asked about pressure to perform.

“You don’t get elite national level athletes without junior athletes . . .. They don’t magically appear out of nowhere.

“That’s what this is, this is developmental and so what I’ve worked on with other coaches at the (National Training Centre in Montreal) last week is coming up with a positive framework and we’re going there to get positive results.”

Pineiro said medaling is not a must for the Canadian athletes.

Competing in Cali, Columbia is hopefully going to be a positive experience for the Canadians.

"Regardless of what they do, or if they lose in the first round, what I want every single boxer who comes back from this competition to feel like A, they’ll have something to remember for the rest of their lives and, B, they’ll be motivated and can see clearly a path forward to be at that level and to stay at that level and improve," Pineiro said.

Which is what Brouillette is expecting when she steps into the ring in Colombia.

"Experience, that’s for sure and opening many more opportunities," Brouillette said.

"I’m very excited to see the world and show people in Cali and all those other athletes what I’m capable of and to show the talents that I have."

Ready for Cali, Colombia, Junior National Team coach Jesse Pineiro and 52Kg boxer Lola Brouillette.

National Team coach Jesse Pineiro, with BC boxers after training at National Training Centre in Montreal — from left, Pineiro, Brittyn Carter of Quesnel, Ella Meredith of Chilliwack and Lola Brouillette. — Submitted photo

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