Graham is a former National champion.
Graham McIntosh started boxing in 1982. He is a former coach of B.C. Boxing, two time Golden Gloves champion, six time Ontario champion and a Canadian national champion. He’s fought in the Commonwealth games and the World Cup and even trained with Lennox Lewis in the late 80’s.
Originally from Scotland, McIntosh moved to Kelowna from Ontario in 2006.
“The first thing I wanted to do when I got here was volunteer as a coach somewhere,” he says. “I really wanted to get back into boxing. I missed it so much.”
He has produced more than two dozen Provincial champions, ten Golden Gloves champions and sent athletes to Nationals every year.
He says the secret to his success is a combination of inspiring good work ethic and learning how to foster talent.
“I like to think I’m good at nurturing the students who put in the hard work,” he says. “If they put in the work I give them all I can.”
His students range from high level athletes – he has several who play for the Okanagan Sun – to those who just want to get in shape and blow off some steam.
“My students are really a cross-section of the community,” McIntosh says. “We’ve had bankers and teachers, lawyers, construction workers, students, hockey and football players and young kids. I’ve coached people as old as 72.
“It’s really for everyone. Not everyone has to go in the ring and fight but I train everyone like they’re fighters. I give them the technical background, the cardio and strength and I give them the confidence that hopefully translates into their life endeavors. That’s the main thing.”
McIntosh says parents who are considering boxing as an outlet for their kids need not worry it will turn them into bullies.
“It does the exact opposite,” he says. “It gives you the ability to take care of yourself and it gives you the confidence to walk away from a fight. The amount of energy they expel in the gym makes them more dedicated to eating and sleeping properly, getting their homework done… it’s all about balance.”
“This is for everyone not just for the Floyd Mayweather’s or Mike Tyson’s of the world. Boxing is where you can be yourself and just focus on developing as a person.”