As 2020 draws to a close, thankfully, we take a look back at Acadiana’s wide world of sports.

There can be a lot of pressure to take on the family business, especially when the family name becomes synonymous with the industry they work in. Imagine what it must be like to be a Hilton or a Disney or a Manning. Everybody copes with it differently. Some embrace it. Some make their own mark on it. Some leave it all behind and do something else entirely. Christiaan’s guests on this edition of Out to Lunch Acadiana come from Acadiana’s wide world of sports.

Acadiana boxing family heir Christian Willeford

Christian Willeford

Christian Willeford is the son of Beau Willeford, the legendary boxing coach and operator of the Ragin Cajun Boxing Club. Willeford’s dad trained scores of boxers in Acadiana over the years and brought the prestigious boxing championship, the  Golden Gloves, to Lafayette. Sadly, Beau passed away in 2019 after a brief bout with cancer. Christian recently announced that he will close the club after a nearly four-decade run but is keeping the Golden Gloves going.

Acadiana stunt woman Leigh Hennesy Robson

Leigh Hennesy Robsobn

Leigh Hennesy Robson first made a name for herself as a world trampoline champion. Leigh was coached by her father, Jeff Hennesy, a prominent name in competitive trampolining. For the last two decades, however, Leigh has made a second name for herself, this time in the movie business. Leigh is a stunt double and stunt coordinator. She was Demi Moore’s double in GI Jane and Lucy Liu’s in Charlie Angels. Leigh is one of only a few hundred stunt women working in the film industry today.

Out to Lunch Acadiana at The French Press

Christiaan Mader, Christian Willeford, Leigh Henessy Robson

Out to Lunch Acadiana is recorded live over lunch at The French Press in downtown Lafayette. Photos by Lucius Fontenot.

More conversation about Acadiana sports with another remarkable Acadiana sportswoman, racecar driver Sarah Montgomery, here.

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