Strong Bodies Fight, that Weak Bodies May Be Nourished

Preliminary rounds of the 83rd Bengal Bouts at the University of Notre Dame began this week.

All the money raised by the “bouts” go directly to the Congregation of Holy Cross’ missions in Bangladesh. Those missions include providing education and health care to a population that lives in extreme poverty. Holy Cross has 13 parishes in Bangladesh, many in the most rural areas of the country.

The student run boxing tournament’s longtime mantra is “Strong bodies fight, that weak bodies may be nourished.” Proceeds from the bouts have built primary and technical schools and health care clinics, as well as paid for education of poor children and college students.

ND football coach Knute Rockne first brought boxing to campus in 1920, but the Bengal Bouts and their service component came into fruition in 1931 with Coach Dominic “Nappy” Napolitano. As a tribute to the Congregation as the founders of Notre Dame, students have championed this worthy cause. Since 1931, more than $1 million dollar has been donated to the missions in Bangladesh, where the average income is less than $1 per day. This year more than 200 young men are participating.

To find out more information or to contribute, visit the Bengal Bouts’s website. You can also get an inside look into why Notre Dame students have chosen this cause by watching a trailer for “Strong Bodies Fight,” an award winning documentary.

The tournament began Feb. 13 with prelims. The quarterfinals are Feb. 20, with semifinals Feb. 26. Both begin at 6 p.m. in the Joyce Center Field House. Finals are at 7 p.m. March 1 in Purcell Pavilion.

The cost for tickets through the semifinals is $7 for adult general admission and $5 for youths. Reserved seating for the finals is $25; general admission is $10; and youth tickets are $6. An all-session pass is $20. Tickets are available online.

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