Hook, jab, uppercut – you’ll learn how to do it all at Bulldogs Fitness and Boxing Centre, a community-focused boxing club with the desire to create a safe and inspiring place for all. Bulldogs Boxing opened in 2009 and is the brainchild of local athlete and boxing coach, Peggy Maerz. She started Bulldogs Boxing as a place where people in the community can come and feel at home while getting a great workout at the same time. Peggy strives to ensure her boxing club is a welcoming place for people of all abilities and goals, and that’s what makes her such a beacon in the community. 

An athlete herself, Peggy has an innate ability to recognize and encourage talent in her clients. She takes pride in the fact that Bulldogs Fitness and Boxing Centre caters to all types of athletes, ranging in ages and ability levels, always ensuring that everyone is welcome and has a place there. Peggy’s fierce determination and desire to see the success in each of her participants is a rare gift that not only draws people to her, but allows her to help her clients achieve their goals all while having fun. 

“We aren’t just boxing, we cater to all athletes and warriors,” says Peggy. The diversity of the participants in her gym is what keeps her going and creates the tightly knit community that she loves.

Her sheer dedication to her craft is remarkable, from her full 4 a.m. to 10:30 p.m. workday to her 2.5-hour daily triathlon training in her off-time, it is clear Peggy has an undeniable passion for her business. In a typical day, Peggy teaches four to six classes and attentively provides multiple one-on-one coaching sessions, all while simultaneously taking care of the detailed behind-the-scenes work of her business. Not only that, she also regularly spends time taking new courses (like her current course where she is studying neuroscience as it relates to performance) to stay at the top of her game. 

Peggy is certified in weight and group training, holds a Level 3 NCCP Coach certificate in boxing, along with Level 1 certificates in ringette, soccer and hockey, and is also an actively involved member on the high-performance coaching board for Boxing B.C. She also was the initial visionary behind the Hit2Fit fundraiser galas, a Shuswap community charity event that brings local businesses and residents together for a friendly competition to raise funds for local charities, promoting life balance and overall community sustainability. Peggy now facilitates the boxing component of the events, providing a package rate for participants to learn and then execute their new skills in a match during the evening gala. She is also the event matchmaker; she is the liaison between Boxing B.C. and Boxing for Wellness, all while encouraging the participants during each of the fundraising challenges.

Peggy’s love of fitness started at an early age, participating in soccer, hockey, ringette, bodybuilding, weightlifting and, of course, boxing (both as an amateur and professional athlete). To complement her impressive sports history, she has also completed extensive education in complementary fields: Behavior Intervention Certificate from Douglas College, Criminology and Sport Psychology from Mount Royal University, Sports Nutrition from Shaw College, which help provide her insight into how to fully support the complete athlete. Peggy loves to compete and see how far she can stretch herself both physically and mentally. 

She credits her grandparents and father as her biggest influencers, as they were the ones who encouraged her to follow her dream of opening the gym. It was actually her father’s natural ability to welcome people and make them feel valued that became ingrained in Peggy at a young age, and she made sure that atmosphere also transcended deep into the culture of Bulldogs Boxing as well. Two of the most inspirational figures in Peggy’s life still work with her at Bulldogs Boxing as well, continuing to motivate, train and inspire her every day: her mentor and coach, Mickey Sims, along with her trainer and cutman, Arron Navarro.

When Peggy does have some much-deserved downtime, she loves spending it outdoors, especially when she’s riding her bike. She’s happiest when she’s playing, creating and learning.

Peggy has a team of experienced coaches and trainers at Bulldogs Fitness and Boxing Centre, ready to teach the Salmon Arm community the essentials of the sport. But it doesn’t stop there. 

“I see our Bulldogs Community continuing to be enriched with collaboration efforts, making for a well-rounded service for our Bulldogs Boxing and Awakening Warriors members,” she explains. 

Peggy has big plans for the future, with the hopes of opening a second location in Sicamous and eventually for other locations across British Columbia. Plus, one of her biggest goals is to have a robust competitive boxing team of a variety of ages and ability levels to compete in B.C. and throughout Canada, and supported by the Bulldogs Boxing community. 

Peggy is truly an incredible woman who has perfectly combined her passions for fitness and creating a welcoming hub in the community. Her colleagues would say that Peggy is a fiercely driven person who is fully invested in her people, someone who is not only inspiring but empowering too. Her dedication to her sport and the community of Salmon Arm truly make Peggy a woman to watch.