DUBAI: When boxing legend Manny Pacquiao visited this Dubai-based boxing gym in 2016, he was more than impressed by what he saw. However, it wasn’t the gym facilities or the training equipment that caught his attention but the fact that everyone, right from the janitor to director of the place was a trained boxer.
Round 10 Boxing Club which has two branches, one in Al Quoz and the other JLT, has 19 employees and four freelancers. All including the two Emirati owners are boxers.
Ahmad Seddiqi and Abdullah Khoory started the centre four years ago driven by what they call a lack of such a facility in the city then. “As boxers we felt the need of a dedicated boxing gym manned by a passionate staff,” say one of the Emirati brothers.
So when they opened the first gym at Al Quoz, they made sure every staff member was a boxing enthusiast.
“Receptionist or coach - they should feel exactly how a boxer feels. I wanted them to have the same energy as our clients,” says Seddiqi, who handpicked his staff.
“The foremost thing I look for in my staff is passion for the sport. They may not be professional boxers, but the love for the sport is what matters the most,” he says, adding many of the employees are amateur boxers.
Jackie Tullo, who is the newest member on the team, says she is thrilled to be working with people who feel the same about her favourite sport. “We are always talking about our ring adventures,” she says.
Jackie, who joined the gym as a receptionist two months ago, says her boxing skills have greatly improved since she started working here.
Out of the 19 full time staffers from 12 different nationalties, 16 are men and three women. Seddiqi says the diversity lends a special charm to the sport when the staff spar in the ring. “For example when our support staff from Pakistan is in a friendly fight with our Filipino coach, it’s interesting to see Filipinos supporting the Pakistani,” he says.