2018 RSB Coach Con Recap
Rock Steady Boxing (RSB), was founded in 2006 by former Marion County (Indiana) Prosecutor, Scott. C Newman, who is living with Parkinson’s. It is a non-profit organization that specializes in a non-contact boxing fitness curriculum to help improve the quality of life of those diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease. Rock Steady Boxing is the first program of its kind – their mission is to empower people with Parkinson’s Disease to fight back and do so by focusing on the disease as their opponent. RSB is based out of Indianapolis, IN but has affiliate locations worldwide. They gathered on September 5th – 7th for their inaugural coaches conference.
On the first day of the conference, attendees arrived in Philadelphia and checked in at the Loews Hotel. At the conference hospitality desk, they received name badges, welcome reception drink tickets, and swag bags containing a backpack, tumbler, pop socket, wrist wraps for boxing, t-shirt for the Rocky Run, and a custom play-book (hard-bound journal with full itinerary of events and breakout sessions, sponsors, map for Rocky Run, and lined paper for taking notes).
That evening, everyone gathered for the vendor expo and welcome reception. Attendees had the opportunity to network with fellow affiliates, coaches, and vendors.
The first full day of the conference started early with a 6:00 am yoga sessions, followed by a coffee break and another opportunity to network with vendors.
For the general session, we were honored to welcome Rasheda Ali, daughter of Mohammad Ali, who inspired and moved the audience. The rest of the day was filled with breakout sessions on various topics until the closing general session.
During the final session of the day, Alan Khan, considered to be the father of the speedbag, treated us to a speedbag demonstration. We had a speedbag set up on a stage for Alan, and on the floor surrounding the ring we had 20 full-body kicking/boxing bags for attendees to utilize during Joey DeMalavez’s session. Joltin’ Joey DeMalavez , former pro boxer and current RSB Coach, led an interactive class during which 20 attendees followed his instruction. It was an intense once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that engaged the entire crowd, even those sitting in the audience!
For dinner that evening, Xplor set up a dine-around experience for the attendees. We made pre-set reservations at some of the local restaurants (such as Hard Rock Café, El Vez, McCormick & Schmick’s, and Bank & Bourbon – in the hotel) and each restaurant (minus HRC) had a prix-fixe menu specially tailored to our guests. Everything (including taxes and gratuity) were pre-paid so they had nothing to worry about onsite. This was an opportunity for affiliates and coaches alike to dine with some of their new friends and enjoy a night on the town! Everyone had a blast and really enjoyed the evening.
The final day of the conference started with another 6:00 am yoga session. The group then headed to a Power Hour with Tim Hague, Sr. (winner of The Amazing Race Canada season 1 and RSB affiliate in Winnipeg). Tim, who has Parkinson’s disease, is a professional speaker, author, and Parkinson’s advocate. He gave an inspirational and emotional speech about everything he has overcome then got everyone ramped up for the Rocky Run!
The Rocky Run, led by Tim Hague, started at the Loews and continued to the Philadelphia Museum of Art (where the Rocky statue is!). Everyone ran up the stairs like Rocky, received their commemorative medals, and took an awesome group shot at the top of the stairs. It was 1.7 miles from hotel to museum or 3.4 miles total.
Post-run, the attendees enjoyed an informative session with Dr. Adena Leder about the benefits of exercise in Parkinson’s disease. Lunch was held at Reading Terminal Market, followed by the last two rounds of breakout sessions. Closing remarks included the announcement of 2019 conference location – Phoenix, AZ!