|Senators captain Daniel Alfredsson is happy to keep lending a hand to Ringside for Youth, a fundraiser for the Ottawa Boys and Girls Club set for Thursday night (Getty Images).
admits his affinity for boxing has its limits.
But he knows a winning punch when he sees one.
So it is that Alfredsson continues to throw his support behind the Ottawa Boys and Girls Club's annual Ringside for Youth fundraiser. This year's night of amateur boxing, featuring pugilists from the local Beaver Boxing Club, is set for Thursday night at the Aberdeen Pavilion.
Officially, the marquee for the evening reads "Daniel Alfredsson
and Walton International present Ringside for Youth XVI." And over several years now, it has become a cause that is near and dear to the Senators captain's heart.
"(Getting involved) appealed to me because it is for the youth, which can never be supported enough," said Alfredsson. "I was involved a little bit within the Boys and Girls Club and then I got asked to get more involved with Ringside for Youth. It's a great event, it's a lot of fun and you meet a lot of good people. And you raise a lot of money there as well."
That it does, to the tune of $1.5 million since the event's inception in 1992, when it was conceived as a fundraiser for the Ottawa Police Youth Centre. It would go on to merge with the Ottawa Boys and Girls Club, which now provides activities and life-building skills for more than 5,000 children and youth each year.
"I like it because it's a different kind of charity (event) than most. It's not just a dinner or a golf tournament and dinner. You get entertained, it's in a great spot, so it's a win-win. You have a lot of fun when you go there and you support a good cause." - Daniel Alfredsson
If you're wondering, Alfredsson has never slipped on the gloves himself between the ropes.
"I've wrestled, but I would never dare to box," he said. "My dad (Hasse) tried to get me (to try it) — he boxed when he was younger — but it was not for me."
He also doesn't qualify as a big fan of the sport, though he says "I can watch championship fights." Alfredsson also recalls hearing tales about Ingemar Johansson, the former heavyweight champion from his native Sweden.
"We heard about him a lot growing up in Sweden," he said.
Though it won't be quite the same, Alfredsson is happy he'll be on hand for the action Thursday night in the grand old building where the original Ottawa Senators once won a Stanley Cup.
"I like it because it's a different kind of charity (event) than most," Alfredsson said of Ringside for Youth. "It's not just a dinner or a golf tournament and dinner. You get entertained, it's in a great spot, so it's a win-win. You have a lot of fun when you go there and you support a good cause."For more information on the event, log on to www.ringside.ca.