Bengal Bouts & Baraka Bouts Raise Money for Holy Cross Missions


Students at the University of Notre Dame finish another successful year of raising money for Holy Cross missions by boxing it out in the ring.

The 84th annual Bengal Bouts culminated on March 2, 2014 with the finals. This year 278 boxers participated Bengal Bouts, which is organized by Notre Dame’s Men’s Boxing. Each year the event raises about $100,000 for Holy Cross Missions inBangladesh. Holy Cross uses the process to help provide education and health care thru its 13 parishes.Each summer,Notre Dame Men’s Boxingsends four to five student boxers to Bangladesh to serve alongside the priests and brothers of the Holy Cross working in the Bengali missions. Third-year student boxer, Connor Chelsky, blogged about his service work in Bangladesh last summer.

The student run boxing tournament’s longtime mantra is “Strong bodies fight, that weak bodies may be nourished.” ND football coach Knute Rockne first brought boxing to campus in 1920. The service component began in 1931 with Coach Dominic “Nappy” Napolitano. As a tribute to the Congregation of Holy Cross as the founders of Notre Dame, students have championed this worthy cause. Since 1931, more than $1 million dollars have been donated to the missions in Bangladesh, where the average income is less than $1 per day.

2014 Baraka Bouts poster

Notre Dame Women’s Boxing Club also dukes it out in the ring to raise money forLakeview Senior Secondary Schoolin Jinja, Uganda, andSt. Joseph Hill Secondary Schoolin Kyambogo, Uganda. Both are Holy Cross-run schools which serve impoverished students in theU.S. Province District of East Africa.

The women’s boxing season runs from September thru November 2013. Along with their intensecalisthenics and cardio workouts, the Fighting Irish women boxersalso fundraise through sponsorship ads, pledges and participation in the Power Hour. For seven hours on Oct. 12, the team did push-ups, sit-ups, jumping jacks and all special requests, collecting donations from students, alumni, faculty and friends. in 2012, the club raised almost $1,700 through Power Hour.

The season culminates in November with Baraka Bouts. This year was the11th year for the event and more than 100 participated, with 40 women battling it out in the final bouts. In 2012, Baraka Bouts raised approximately$25,000.

Several Notre Dame women boxers have also had the chance to visit the beneficiariesof their hard work through a study abroad program in Uganda that also affords them the opportunity to serve the missions there.

Final proceed totals from Bengal Bouts and BarakaBouts will be available after the end of the 2014 Fiscal Year.

Please consider supporting Holy Cross’ mission work in Uganda, Bangladesh or for our general international mission work by making an online donation today.

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