I met Charles John for the first time in 1979 at the Campbell River Eagles Boxing Club. I was 12-years-old. He became my lifelong friend, mentor and companion, and coached me through 11 years of amateur boxing competition.
A lifetime of watching him interact with people in an amazing number and variety of ways; Charlie was a great sportsman, gifted athlete, motivator, and tremendous coach.
His continuous inspiration to others, his knowledge and ability, unique training methods, leadership, easy going personality, and the pleasure and fun he always was to be around, were instantly appreciated and respected by all those he came into contact with.
To be included in or even just to watch, one of his spirited and intense wrestling matches, was something that everyone always loved.
Perhaps Charlie’s most unique and wonderful talent was his ability to interact, communicate, teach and produce such a positive feedback in young people.
Whether it was in or out of the boxing gym, he affected people in such a positive way and always fostered admiration. He was sometimes merciless and intense while providing coaching, training or leadership in the boxing gym, but he made it fun, rewarding, and people always came away with a smile; knowing they had been enriched by the experience.
He disproved the commonly held boxing belief that a tough and gritty coach has to separate himself from or avoid friendship with his pupils or protégés.
Charles John was a fantastic boxing coach. I have met and been coached by many people across Canada and around the world, and no one bettered Charles in his knowledge of the mechanics of boxing, fitness, and strategy.
In Campbell River, on Vancouver Island, across B.C., Canada or anywhere; Charles John was boxing at its purest and finest.