Answers to some of the more frequently asked questions:
Q: What actually is IT Heavy Hitters?
Put simply, it's a charity boxing event that raises money for charitable causes directly, supporting the work done in the mental well-being and suicide prevention space. The concept is that we take a bunch of people who spend all day in front of a computer (IT geeks or office-based people) and push them well out of their comfort zone . We provide 14 weeks of qualified and experienced boxing and fitness coaching before matching as many from the group as we can for a fight at the end. The events happen once a year in Auckland and Wellington and have historically attracted over 1200 people to watch on the night.
Q: I don't work in Information Technology can I still take part?
This event is designed to give sedentary workers the chance to get up, get out and get moving. While we do permit at our discretion non-IT to participate you may find that we prioritise our selection to keep the theme of the event true to our core principals. Does your primary line of work mean you're using technology all day? If yes, you're probably who are after. We reserve the right to not accept applications however as many other professions such as trades people have their own annual fight promotions.
Q: Do I have to fight if I sign up and get selected?
By signing up, you are accepting that you are getting involved in a full contact sport, which will involve hitting people (in a controlled environment) and getting hit by people. If don't want to fight at the end and are just here for the training, this is not the event for you. Places are limited so you just coming along for the fitness is taking a space of someone who want to actually fight at the conclusion of the fight camp.
Q: How is the event funded?
Registration fees don't cover the all costs, however we engage sponsors to help meaning more people are able to take part. We expect everyone to join in and help with our Give a Little fundraising, opening their own pages linked to ours to canvas family and friends. Tickets, tables, auctions and raffles also fund our event and all the profits after we pay the bills go to the charity.
Q: I'm really unfit, is this just for athletes and those grunting gym types?
Absolutely not, in fact we prefer taking the most unlikely people on the journey from fat to fit. That is after all part of the reason we are here, that and raising funds for a much needed cause.
Q: Is there an age limit?
Yes there is. In order to be considered, you need to be over 18 at the start of training and 50 or under on fight night. There are no exceptions to this rule.
Q: When does training start and when are the fights?
Training starts towards the end of January/early February and runs for the 14 weeks leading up to the fights. Wellington fight night takes place on the first Saturday in May, with the Auckland City event usually a week later and the North Shore the week after that.
Q: I want to train at a specific gym, is my choice guaranteed?
Nope, you are welcome to request a preference of gym and we'll endeavour to place you where we can, but we need to ensure a balance of weight, height, gender and experience between the teams. In most cases over the last few years people have been allocated to their preference but that just depends on those signing up.
Q: I already train at another gym in town, can I just train there?
Nope again, in order to be considered for this you need to train with our coaches. They will know if and when you are ready to get into the ring. Safety is one of our primary concerns and you won't be given a fight if the coach doesn't think you can safely compete.
Q: Which gyms are available to train at?
In Wellington, the red team will train out of Punch Fit in Lower Hutt and the blue team will train at Wellington Boxing Gym in Kilbirnie. In Auckland Central the 2023 teams are Combat Room out West and Elite Thai Kickboxing in Penrose. The North Shore teams include Red Line Combat Academy and Shuriken Gym.
Q: How much does it cost to take part?
Registration is $200 for the program, however there are other costs such as your own gloves and protective gear as required and blood tests to show you're clear of Hepatitis and HIV before you start. These costs are broken down in the Welcome Pack on the application to become a fighter page. in case you were wondering, $200 works out about $4.70 per gym session for an awesome experience - cool huh?. You'll need a pair of 16oz boxing gloves, some hand wraps and a mouth guard, but we'll be working with our sponsors to get you a great deal on those. If you get selected to fight you'll also need either a groin guard or a chest protector depending on which bits you need to protect. Please note there are no refunds once you sign up, if you do change your mind and no longer wish to continue your entry fee is considered a donation to the cause.
Q: Am I guaranteed a fight?
No, unfortunately not. Signing up gets you into the training program but it takes more than just signing up to get you into the ring. Final selections will be made about 4-5 weeks out when everyone has had the chance to learn to box and get to a suitable level of fitness. Several factors influence you getting a fight such as your level of fitness and being able to match you with a suitable opponent. You could be the best novice boxer we've ever seen, but if you're the only 100kg person left at the end then it's not fair to match you with someone at 90kg.
Q: What happens if I don't get selected to fight?
DO NOT GIVE UP... You keep going, you do that because there is always a chance you may get called up to fight at the last minute. People drop out even 48 hours before and if you keep training you still have the chance to get into the ring. If you give up, you don't. Ever.
Q: Can my kids come and watch?
That depends. The fight night itself is likely R18 so as long as they can prove they are older than 18, sure.
Q: When do corporate tables and tickets go on sale?
We start offering tables out to sponsors and contenders at the start of the event planning process, then open to the public shortly after. General admission tickets usually go on sale 8 weeks out from fight night.
Q: Can I get my own sponsors?
Sure thing! If your own company or someone you know wants to back you and promote your journey that's all good, but unless they are an official event sponsor we won't be able to provide any promotional services (Facebook endorsements or website content etc) and you won't be able to wear their logos on fight night.
Q: What are the training times?
Changes gym to gym - All noted in the Welcome Document on the application page.
Q: I've competed before, can I go again?
If you fought in the last show there's a mandatory 1 year stand-down - probably better to give someone else a chance, but we never say never.
Q: How long does the training go for?
We run a 14 week course to give more people a chance to be ready come selection time.
Q: If the event is cancelled again do we get a refund?
We incur costs for training even if you only get halfway through. We don't refund for part fight camp, but will discount an equivalent percentage off the next year's event. We've only had to cancel once and that was due to Covid, so hopefully won't happen again.