By Ami Mackey
We have been working really hard to get our youth program set up in our new gym space. Long hours, hard labor, joyful work, all of it (for the most part) knowing that we are almost ready to open the St Louis All City Boxing gym doors. One of our young athletes came by with one of our coaches to see our gym space last week and we had the best conversation!
I gave him a tour of the space, explaining what each part of the gym would be used for. Where the equipment would be, where the tables and chairs would be for tutoring, and the big bowl of fruit we’d have for snacking on right after school. We talked about having healthy snacks, the importance of eating good food and what we have planned for our nutrition program. The young man thought for a bit and said, “I like pears…and peaches!” He told me all about a local farm where he had gone on a field trip, twice and the enormous peaches they grow on the farm.
We also discussed gardening, building raised bed gardens, vegetables, and cooking. He shared that he doesn’t like tomatoes, but he likes green beans! We also chatted a bit about the tutoring program we are planning. How we plan on hitting the books for an hour before fitness and boxing at our gym. We talked about school, his love of geometry and the possibility of growing watermelon. He helped me figure out how many watermelon plants we could plant in a raised bed that was 6′ x4′.
It was a wonderful conversation with a bright and talented young man. It is these moments that I am looking forward to most. I love boxing. Our gym is going to be amazing. The kids though… the kids are just incredible. They are all looking forward to having a gym of their own and being part of the community we are creating. Having the opportunity to create this program is a dream come true for us. Being able to share our love of plant-based nutrition and boxing with the young people in our program is going to change the lives of everyone involved.
The success we have had with our Go Fund Me drive has helped us put together some of the equipment that we need to get started. We can rest easy knowing that the safety equipment that each athlete needs to participate has been purchased. We are working on purchasing our protective flooring, a computer for the tutoring room, uniforms for competing in tournaments and providing healthy snacks, like pears and peaches on a daily basis for the kids. We don’t anticipate having our full nutrition program operating until 2015. Until then, a big bowl of fruit will greet the two dozen kids every day upon entering the gym.
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