THE BRONX, N.Y. (PIX11) — A free after-school boxing and self-defense program is teaching kids in the Bronx important skills and life lessons.
A state-of-the-art boxing ring is inside the PS/MS 29 school, located across the street from the NYCHA development Jackson Houses. The goal of the program is to inspire kids to achieve and develop into champions, not just in the boxing ring but in the classroom and in life.
Nine-year-old Prince Milton is nicknamed “Money” in the boxing ring. “Because when I grow up, I’m going to make some money,” Prince said. Thirteen-year-old Eva Ashkat, who started boxing at the age of 11, said sparring brings out her self-confidence.
They are just two of the boxers being trained at PS/MS 29’s Boxing Academy. The boxing ring is right next to the school’s cafeteria. It was built in 2019.
“Parents ask, ‘Is that really a boxing ring in your school?’ They are so impressed we offer this at our school,” said Jewan Baboolal, assistant principal at PS/MS 29.
The program is run by former amateur boxer Femi Guri. “I see hunger and motivation,” Guri said. “It’s unorthodox putting a ring in the school. but we always put academics first.”
Guri said the program teaches important skills and life lessons that students will take with them throughout their entire lives such as perseverance, self-discipline and character development.
The program is for kids between the ages of 8 to 14 years old. Their coach said there is a real need for kids to have a safe place to go after school and thrive. With each practice, the kids are gaining mental and physical skills to overcome adversity in life and fight for their dreams.
“I feel great!” Prince said.