About Us

HeadStrong Girls' Boxing is an Austin 501(c)(3) Nonprofit organization working to encourage confidence and foster improved mental, emotional, and physical well-being by providing girls free access to boxing training and mentorship.

Tax ID 86-3684512

OUR FOUNDERS

Julia Gschwind

Growing up in the early 1970s, I had an abundance of athletic energy and struggled to find an outlet for my undirected passion. My parents didn’t understand my athletic and sometimes anger-driven need to move my body. Their attempts to get me into reading, swimming and typical “girlish” hobbies backfired and just left me feeling different and shameful.

Almost a decade later, I found boxing - something I had not realized existed as a sport for women. The liberating and empowering feeling I experienced during my first training session was something I had never felt before and changed my life forever.


Once I transitioned from being a boxer to a coach, my focus turned to doing whatever I could to provide female boxers an experience that had not previously existed. It is now my life’s mission to boldly bring boxing to middle and high school girls, and make accessibility easy for those seeking connection to a group specifically created for girls who like to hit.



Alex Plichta

I'm so fortunate to have had such great experiences growing up playing organized sports. I played softball competitively in my teens, but once I went to college, I struggled to find a similar healthy outlet that engaged both my mind and my body. It wasn't until I found boxing in mid-2018 that that need was fulfilled.


Through boxing, I've found discipline, focus, and community, and I've challenged myself physically, mentally, and emotionally. One of the most rewarding things about my boxing journey is that I was able to find a confidence in myself that didn’t grow in any of the other sports that I played or activities that I did.


Part of that confidence came from the quality, compassionate, and constructive coaching I received from coaches Julia Gschwind, Stacy Nakell, Ashley Bazan, and many more in an all-girl environment. Now that I am a coach, it is my goal to provide the same growth opportunities and encouragement I was afforded to middle school and high school girls around the Austin area and bring new meaning to the phrase “hit like a girl.”



OUR COACHES - More Bios Coming Soon!

Our Instructors all have a minimum of one year of boxing experience, are background checked, have earned USA Boxing Green Level and First Aid Ceritification and are passionate about teaching and empowering girls.

Palla Lentz

USA Boxing Coach - Bronze Level

I have been boxing for 5 years and in 2021 had my first three officials fights! I have enjoyed participating in instructing boxing classes both in and out of the gym. Boxing has helped me become more confident in life and given me a community of people who support my goals both in and out of the ring. It gives me great joy to see girls and women taking up space in this sport and getting what they want out of boxing whether that's a workout, a fight, or defense training.


Sam Talamantes

USA Boxing Coach - Bronze Level

I've been boxing for a year and a half. I started boxing in college as a way to relieve stress and stay active and immediately fell in love with it. I hope to advance my skills and continue boxing for as long as I can.


Valerie Wells

USA Boxing - Bronze Level

I started boxing in an after school club at age 16 with all boys. I quickly fell in love with the sport and it helped me to develop good habits, consistency, and become more disciplined in all areas of my life. I stopped boxing in high school, but restarted in March of 2021 with an all women's club in Austin. I enjoys sharing and teaching boxing to kids and teenagers.


Beth Almost


Ri'Ann Miller

USA Boxing - Bronze Level

New to Austin, Ri’Ann started training at Austin Women’s Boxing Club in 2019 to have a healthy outlet to work on increasing her mental and physical fitness levels, as well as making new friends in a new city. After beginning her training at Austin Women’s Boxing Club, she quickly became obsessed with the open and supportive atmosphere, challenging workouts and being a part of a group of strong women. Her obsession for the sport and all that it has to offer grew, drew Ri’Ann to join the competition team and teaching. In her spare time you can find Ri’Ann playing with her dogs at the park, reading, studying for her Master’s degree and promoting positive women’s health habits.



Thank you to Britt Baysinger & Karla Avila for coach photos!

OUR BOARD

Alex Plichta - President


Allison Moujaes - Vice President


Stephanie Barraza - Treasurer


Julia Gschwind - Secretary


Karen Cotter - Committee Manager


Link to Board Member Bios HERE