There was a flurry of activity this weekend in and around of Christina Rondeau’s well-designed and impressively stocked kickboxing training/fitness facility located at 1408 Atwood Ave. in Johnston.
Rondeau, who is perhaps Rhode Island’s most famed female athlete when it comes to the grueling sport of competitive kickboxing and in-the-ring matches, showed off her newest location in grand style Saturday during a five-hour open house that included everything from visiting vendors to matches featuring both girls and boys.
Outside, vendors like Haley DeFontes were selling a variety of personalized products and enjoying the camaraderie that has always been the earmark of any Rondeau event.
People of all ages even posed between two giant-size wings that are pained on the north side of Rondeau’s spacious facility, her other and much smaller training facility being located on Killingly Street.
Meanwhile, Becky Rhodes – an accomplished kickboxing instructor and trainer – issued orders through a headset microphone as more than a dozen women of different ages moved swiftly about to lively music while leveling punch after punch into a hanging bag.
Yet, none of those boxers slacked off, following each and every one of Rhodes’ commands while gaining the admiration of Rondeau.
Rondeau took time to introduce any kickboxing newcomers – as well as people who stopped by just to take in the open house – to what has become Rhode Island’s most heart-warming charity. She founded “Knock Out Wishes,” which enables the U.S. champion kickboxer to give back to the community in a number of ways.
“Knock Out Wishes has and continues to help others who are going through hardships to make a different in their lives,” Rhodes explained. “Christina raised funds by holding events such as today’s open house and kickboxing demonstrations and exhibition fights.”
A few years back, Rondeau found out thieves had broken into a senior apartment complex in Woonsocket and stolen a giant television that was the only screen for some to watch in the community room.
She later held an exhibition at the Killingly Street location and soon thereafter purchased an even larger widescreen than the one that was stolen. It came just in time for the residents to gather and watch the Super Bowl.