Header Graphic
BwP Project Overview
Boxing in the fight against Parkinson's


Boxers with Parkinson's is a member driven, non-profit association.  It's members deliver boxing-themed exercise therapy programs for people with Parkinson's.  The largest network of eligible programs is Rock Steady Boxing with over 800 affiliates and 40,000 Boxers.  Independent gyms offering qualifying programs are welcome to apply.  Check the Membership page for qualification criteria.  

The association has four primary programs for its members.

  • A member-driven association to identify and work on issues the members care about.  The association will provide a collective voice with researchers and even RSB HQ.  There is an Advisory Council and other councils or committees will be formed as opportunities are identified.   
  • The Boxers with Parkinson's Project.  A national Parkinson's research database collecting historical and ongoing assessment and symptom data on thousands of boxers with PD.  Members will have access to reports on the boxers in their programs, and select reports on national trends and statistics.
  • The PARS assessment app is designed as a dual face app supporting coaches and boxers on one side and analysts and researchers on the other side.  The gym app includes boxer management system for intake assessments and reassessments generating a personalized Boxer Assessment Report.  It is a boxer testing app for coaches, a boxer/coach consulting tool, and a research data collection tool.  It securely stores data in the cloud and emails assessment reports to the boxer to share with their family, even their neurologist.
  • The PARS Research Portal (coming soon). Collected data will be available to select outside groups with a committed interest in boxing as exercise therapy for Parkinson's. Boxer's can opt-in or opt-out at any time.  Boxer personal information is hidden and protected.

PARS was inspired by the Rock Steady Boxing intake assessment and reassessment processes as a foundation to work from, PARS takes RSB's process from paper to an easy-to-use tablet application with centralized cloud storage while enhancing the data, assessment process and test value.  It standardizes the processes for coaches and it centralizes the data in a secure cloud-based service.   

Background:  When Mike Sellars was diagnosed with Parkinson's, he became a Rock Steady Boxing affiliate based on the anecdotal stories he heard from HQ and other affiliates.  When he began doing new boxer membership paperwork and assessments it wasn't long until he had manila folders with data on 70+ boxers.  Their folders and data were securely stored in his home office…  Where it was not available to him when he was in the gym wanting to consult with the boxers or coaches...  And, because it was in 70 folders on 700 pieces of paper, it could not be sorted, analyzed or filtered.

What if we could analyze boxing's impact on 40,000 boxers with Parkinson's?  10,000?  Even 5,000?  By age groups, men vs women, by Parkinson's level, those with heart issues or those who have had PD over 3 years?  Those who work out 3 times a week versus those who work out once a week?  What if there was a simple, easy to understand scoring system so boxers, coaches and researchers could compare assessment results quickly, easily and understandably?  What if a coach could show a boxer their assessment scores, talking with them about where they are weak, where they are strong, where to focus for improvement?  How about boxers being able to share their reports with their family or their neurologist?  What if they could compare a boxer’s assessments over time?  What if a coach could quickly look up a visiting boxer from another location?  What if…

To test his theory, Mike put together an Excel spreadsheet to begin playing with this idea for his 5 Rock Steady locations.  Then he had the opportunity to be part of Microsoft’s One Week Hackathon where they developed a prototype app for him.  He learned lots from the prototyping process so he went back to the drawing board refining the specification and choosing appropriate platforms and development tools.  He worked with the Computer Sciences department at Green River College to develop a first generation version.  During the pandemic lockdown, the app has undergone a full redesign and is ready for large scale use.  Great performance, stable and reliable, secure, cool features, powerful reporting, and easy to use. 

Now, it is go-fast time!  Please join us in the ultimate fight against Parkinson's.

Boxers with Parkinson's (c) 2019, 2020, 2021.  A Washington 501c3 Association and Research Project.