Let’s get ready to rumble

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Organisers of Winter Festival’s popular charity boxing fundraiser Thriller in the Chiller are calling for potential candidates to step up. 

Thriller, sponsored by Mountain Scene, pits well-known locals against each other for three, two-minute rounds. The money raised from the night and a mid-show auction go towards a local charity. 

The past two Thrillers have been near sell-outs, and attracted 1300 punters last year. 

Festival director Simon Green says the event will continue to focus on the personal development of the men and women brave enough to put their chins on the line. 

“The role of our entire team is to do everything in our power to ensure all the match-ups are as fair and evenly matched as possible and that by the time the big night rolls around everyone is as confident, comfortable and supremely prepared as we can possibly get them.” 

The training is split into two segments – an initial five-week contender bootcamp starting March 19. It involves four morning sessions a week, developing fitness and boxing technique. 

After that, the fighters are selected and begin an eight-week training programme. 

“These camps are not for the faint-hearted and are targeted at men and women looking for a serious personal challenge that will take them well outside their comfort zone,” Green says. 

Green adds: “It is not about who is the best boxer or the fittest individual, it is about finding the right people who are approaching the event for the right reasons and helping them get as much out of the experience as possible.” 

The wearing of headgear – even during initial light sparring – will be compulsory. The measure comes after a 2011 contender Grant Bryant suffered a brain bleed during sparring, requiring emergency surgery. 

Bryant, a Queenstown reporter for The Southland Times, has since made a full recovery and was back fulltime at work by December. 

Applicants can apply online at www.winterfestival.co.nz