Eriks Zvidris (Ēriks Zvīdris)
Eriks Zvidris is a boxer, master of sports of the USSR, two-time champion of Latvia, and champion in team results in Ukraine
Eriks Zvidris started going in for sports in 1955 at the Jurmala Sports School in Majori, in the sports gymnastics section.
In 1956, boxing trainer Vitolds Svencis at Sloka Primary School founded a boxing section in the "Spike" Sports Association. This was the start of boxing in Jurmala. Initially, for Eriks Zvidris boxing seemed like entertainment for brawlers. However, challenged by classmates and friends, he was forced to attend the training sessions to prove that "he was not a dweeb and was not afraid to box." He began to attend training and demonstrated his abilities. He succeeded and began to train steadily.
He began to participate in competitions. His debut took place in 1957 at the championships of the Latvian SSR in Riga, where he won 3rd place. A good start for a feather-weight beginner in boxing.
In 1958, at the championships of the Latvian SSR in Kuldiga he won 2nd place. The results improved with every training session and every fight.
In 1959, at the championships of the Latvian SSR in Saldus he became champion. He succeeded in his fight for the title of master of the republic and he only had to continue his growth in major tournaments.
In 1959, under the guidance of Vitolds Svence as a part of the Riga "Daugava" team he went to the youth championship of the USSR in Rostov-on-Don. Due to a wrist injury he withdrew from the competition, losing to his opponent, who became champion of the USSR in his weight category (up to 48 kg).
Champion of Riga – "Daugava" 1957–1959 – champion of "Spike" 1957–1959
In 1960, he was drafted into the Soviet Army. He served in Ukraine, in the sports company of the Tank Army. At the championships for the Kiev region in a competition involving 32 fighters, he won 3rd place. Kiev region is as large as the entire Baltic region. There were many new opponents, and an opportunity to grow professionally.
In 1961, from the Chernihiv region, he was included in a select team from the Kiev region. For two years he actively participated in competitions. At the Ukrainian team championships, he obtained 1st place in the ASC "Cherkasy" team. Tournaments continued in Vinnica, Uman and other cities, and his skills grew, as did the number of fights won.
In 1962, he completed the norms for a sports master of the USSR, and became a sports master of the USSR.
In 1962, he returned from the Soviet Army and continued his training. That year he did not participate in the Latvian SSR championship because it took place before he returned from the army. At the same time he entered the Sports and Physical Culture Institute (now the Latvian Academy of Sport Education - LASE) in the physical education teacher department.
In 1963, at the championships of the Latvian SSR he became champion.
In 1964, after much thought, he decided to stop his active boxing career and continue a career as a trainer in physical culture and boxing.
After graduating from the Latvian State Physical Culture Institute in 1967 (the 50th anniversary graduation of the LSPCI), he was sent to work as a physical education teacher at Tukums Rainis Secondary School. In parallel with this work, as a community enthusiast he founded a boxing section for pupils. Trainees participated in various competitions, travelled around Latvia (Kuldiga, Riga, Ventspils). There came the first success.
In 1970, he moved to work in Jurmala. In 1971. he continued the work as a trainer at the Jurmala Children and Adolescents Sports School (CASS). Now in Jurmala there were two trainers – Eriks Zvidris, who trained in Sloka and Kauguri and Janis Rovics, who trained in Dzintari and Pumpuri. Boxing in Jurmala rapidly became popular. Boys of different ages wanted to assert themselves and become strong. Jurmala declared itself the Boxing Capital of Latvia.
A significant growth began in the 80s, when the trainees of Eriks Zvidris – Antolijs Visockis (master of sports), Aivars Altenburg (master nominee), Ainars Zakis, Zigurds Jezdovskis and Oleg Stolerovs became champions of the LSSR several times.
Then there were the first successes outside Latvia, young boxers went to Leningrad (now St. Petersburg) and other cities. New experience was gained, which resulted in a 1st place won at the Union-wide tournament of the highest category in Kopeisk (Khokhryakov Tournament) involving trainee Eriks Zvidris with Anatolijs Visockis within the LSSR national team. It was a significant achievement outside the borders of Latvia. Representatives of Jurmala were on a wave of success.
Eriks Zvidris raised more than 20 Latvian champions, winners of many international tournaments. It is not possible to list the total number of trainees, each trainee gained something personal, learned to defend himself, became more secure and self-confident, tempered his character and fought with difficulties. Such a school, where boys become men...
Jevgenijs Rimsa (European Champion among cadets in 1998) originally initiated his boxing career at Eriks Zvidris.
Photo: The cup of the European cadet champion in boxing
He devoted his entire life to young people, focusing only on youth sport and its growth. Very many locals in Jurmala are grateful that the trainer in time brought them to sport, not letting them go along the road to illegality and crime.
A saying by Eriks Zvidris is widely known: "only with force is it possible to win in the beginning. Afterwards there already start smart and thoughtful fights." Eriks Zvidris always emphasised technical, cleverly planned boxing. His trainees always excelled in a technically well-considered and beautiful style of fighting in the boxing ring.
He participated in 100 official fights – in 87 fights he gained victory.
At the same time as he went in for training work he judged boxing competitions in Latvia. However, the trainer’s work was always closer.
While working as a physical education teacher and boxing trainer, he actively participated in the organization of sporting life in Jurmala in various sports and disciplines. All the work was dedicated to school age young people.
In the early 70s, he joined the Jurmala City Tourist Club (at that time managed by V. Bruvelis) and regularly participated in its activities – over ten years he travelled all over the Caucasus, walking along its mountain routes. As a remarkable Russian actor and singer Vladimir Vysotsky once sand: "More beautiful than mountains there are only mountains..."
A member of the Latvian Senior Boxing Club "Brek". He was repeatedly awarded honorary certificates from the President of the Latvian Boxing Federation and medals for his contribution to the development of Latvian boxing.
In 2014, he established the Jurmala Boxing School with the aim of strengthening and continuing Jurmala’s and Latvia’s boxing tradition. Jurmala Boxing School is a place where boys become men!
“Varpa” – Jurmala
ASC – Cerkasi (Army Sports Club – Cherkassy MU)
ASC Kiev military district (Army Sports Club – Kiev MD)
“Daugava” – Riga
Work in Sport
Boxing section of the Sports School of Jurmala city (Jurmala Boxing Club)
Jurmala Boxing School