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Celebrating the Community Contributions of Ms. Cooney

Ms. Cooney, Richland Academy’s Grade 5 teacher, is not only engaged in our school community; she’s engaged in the wider community through her boxing expertise.

“A couple of years ago I went up to the Northwest Territories to teach, in a place where there were many survivors of violence. Knowing how empowering boxing is, and with the support of the Toronto Newsgirls and the Shape Your Life Program, I was able to engage a community of women in the first ever, all-women’s boxing club in the north.  And all it took was a couple of heavy bags and a pair of gloves.”
Ms. Cooney is featured in a photographic zine by Andrea Clegg, entitled NEWSGIRLS. Proceeds from the sale of this publication will support Shape Your Life, which is a program that provides women and trans survivors of violence with an opportunity to participate in a recreational boxing program. Physical exercise, reducing social isolation, exploring healthy aggression and expressing anger in a safe place can help survivors heal from violence and regain control over their lives. SYL is about feeling strong, having fun and trying something new! The SYL boxing classes are designed for beginners and are held at the Toronto Newsgirls Boxing Club once a week. For more information please go to

We’re proud of you Ms. Cooney, and the difference you make to the lives of the people around you, including ours.


  • WOW!!! Ms. Cooney is my teacher! I didn’t know that she was so involved in the society outside of school! That is sooooooooooooo exciting!!! 🙂

  • Elizabeth L.

    Our amazing teacher Ms. Cooney is a boxer and the most inspiring person I know. She is the best teacher and teaches us to never give up. She told me to never give up because it will happen. I love Ms. Cooney.

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