Letter: Kids' boxing program would benefit Pittsfield

Kids' boxing program would benefit many

To the editor:

For the past three years I have been trying to get a boxing program back in Pittsfield.

Everyone knows we have a problem here in Pittsfield regarding shootings, stabbings, drugs and robberies. Our kids need a place to get frustrations out. I know some people are against this idea but I think with help from the right people this could work. I messaged the mayor with this idea and haven`t heard back.

Boxing doesn't come to mind for parents or guardians. However, as with all sports, boxing can be safe with the right equipment and in a good environment. I have a 9-year-old grandson who is a member of the USA Boxing Association and has been taking boxing lessons with Todd Poulton for 3 1/2 years.

The risk of injury is no greater than any other popular sports or activities such as gymnastics, hockey, swimming, football or wrestling. Boxing should always be practiced in a safe environment. The benefits of placing your child in a boxing program go way beyond regular exercise, fitness and helping your kids to take care of themselves in this intimidating world. By taking part in boxing, kids can learn valuable boxing combinations, foot and hand speed, heavy bag workout and sparring and many other skills.

Boxing gives kids a sense of confidence, esteem, and, most importantly, self-discipline. On a regular training schedule that's structured and supervised, kids don't just work out aggression, they learn self-management.

The kids have to know they've got someone in their corner. If they don't have anyone else to follow, they're going to follow the drug dealers, addicts and robbers on the street. Many kids fall victim to being picked on when they are very young and eventually this can lead to being bullied,

Kids nowadays need things to do after school, and when they don't have anything to do, that's when they get into trouble. Consider that nothing else seems to be working and that violence is escalating, Young people are growing up in scary times.

A gym in Pittsfield to teach boxing is not going to solve all of these problems, but it could be a constructive step. Opening a gym is not going to bring rampant crime, shootings and drugs to an end, but it might contribute something positive.

Maybe if we can get this going we can get the Pittsfield Police Dept.'s. drug task force/gang unit to participate. Springfield, Agawam and other communities around us have boxing for kids.

This program could help turn at-risk youths in a positive direction. There are a lot of kids out there that need the chance a boxing program could provide.

Kathy Armstrong, Pittsfield


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