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Boxing to reduce stress for teens

BY LILY ABROMEIT | NOVEMBER 01, 2013 5:00 AM

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The first time students from Tate High School walked through the doors of Title Boxing Club, they were dressed in jeans and boots and were more than a little confused.

Now, after two months, they proudly adorn boxing gloves and wraps, their duffle bags slung over their shoulders as they make the short trek to the club every Tuesday and Thursday.

Since early September, Title Boxing Club, 1604B Sycamore St., and Tate High have worked to provide an opportunity for students to release stress and anger through exercise.

“Instead of being out on the streets doing something I shouldn’t be doing, I’m boxing and doing something fun,” said Tate junior Jose Pulido.

Tate Principal Ann Browning approached Title Boxing over the summer with her idea for a program that would allow kids to come to the club twice a week and receive training and fitness tips.

She said she expected many students to participate simply to get out of class, but after numerous trips, she noticed the opposite result.

“[The first time] I had about 23 kids go down with me and not one of them dropped out; I could not believe it,” Browning said. “They just realized the benefits of working out and feeling good.”

Since the initial class, she said, she has noticed improved grades as well as increased self-esteem and motivation to attend school.

“It’s really, primarily, for stress release … and to help with self-esteem,” she said. “[But] we really did see an increase in attendance, and they were more concerned with grades.”

Browning also said for many Tate students, dealing with drug use, mental-health issues, and dropping out of school is commonplace. This program, she said, has given them a positive way to deal with the problems in their lives.

“We’re just trying to offer some real dynamic programming to fit our program with their needs,” she said.

Pulido said that since joining this program he has learned to control his anger, which has led to his nearly straight-A grades.

“Before, I would get mad easily … but now I know I can just let it out [later] in boxing,” he said, noting that he has also noticed a more relaxed environment around his peers.

Reinaldo Hall, group exercise instructor and personal trainer at Title Boxing, said he has seen a transformation in the students over the last couple of months.

Whereas before the students would talk during training and get easily distracted, he said they now focus on the exercise and the work in front of them.

“Now, they pay attention, follow the combinations, and they remain engaged in the class,” Hall said. “Seeing the discipline increase, and hearing not only that their boxing is getting better but their lives, especially in school, are getting better, that’s the best part and most rewarding part for me.”

Browning said the trainers at Title Boxing played a big role in influencing and helping the students. 
“They’re so enthusiastic at Title … they’re just such a positive influence on them,” she said. “I think the kids felt like they really accomplished something, they were so proud of themselves.”

Hall said he is pleased with the increased effort he has seen in the group and is happy to see them succeeding.

“It’s the ease and speed at which they picked up the feel of boxing and how they listen and pay attention and how they use the boxing to go through other things in their lives,” he said. “They proved themselves to be something more than people give them credit for.”


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