SB Local Young Champs Head to VA Junior Olympics
SB, Local Young Champs Head to VA Junior Olympics, Call for Community Support
Dianne Anderson //–
Something good always comes out of San Bernardino, given the chance.
It would be a rare day to see even one local boxing champ make it to the nationals from any city, let along three local contenders, having already won the Western Championship for the Junior Olympics.
Representing the West Coast, kids from Project Fighting Chance are soon headed for Charleston, West Virginia to vie for the national championships running June 25 to July 1.
“To have three to come out of the gym in San Bernardino at a time when there’s so much negativity, this is a good national outreach for these young people to represent what’s positively happening in the inner city,” said Terry Boykins, who sits on the board of Project Fighting Chance.
When local kids go out of the area to compete, he said their peers are usually a little standoffish.
“They are looked upon as being suspicious, people are careful of them when they hear they’re from San Bernardino, they start grabbing their bags and hiding their gear. It’s real, it’s a stigma,” Boykins said.
The local champions are very competitive, and also serving as ambassadors at one of the largest amateur sports competitions nationwide.
Two of the chosen are from San Bernardino Unified School District, and one from Rialto Unified School District. They recognize the competition as more than a sport, and they want to put the area on the map in a positive light.
“They want to win, and give the country a different view of San Bernardino,” he said.
The Junior Olympic, Youth Open and Prep National Championships competition runs from June 26-July 1, held at the Charleston Civic Center in Charleston, West Virginia. It is sponsored by USA boxing.
Boykins said the nonprofit has a strong parent engagement component, and helps kids with aggression diversion by using sports as the emotional outlet.
It is a good way to blow off steam.
The program is implemented over on Union Street off Mt. Vernon, which is a very challenged, high-risk area, and started under Ian Franklin, the executive director, in 1999. It is tightly focused on education, discipline, and community.
He is calling for community support to help “Terrible” Terry Washington, 13, Charles “LoLo” Harris, 13, and “Killa” Kenny Lobatoz, 10, with airfare and hotels. Anyone with extra airline miles, or hotel points can make a contribution to get the boys there, and back.
Everyone giving a little bit can make something big happen, he said.
“I think it brings the community together and much stronger, and shows that we are behind our young people that have excelled in these national competitions,” he said.
This summer, Boykins is also spotlighting Daughter’s Lives Matter on victimization prevention, domestic violence, sex trafficking, and positive father-daughter relationships. Since starting in 2013, the Street Positive campaign has expanded to cities nationally, along with outreach in partnership with Women Wonder Writers District Attorney Debra Postil, and ISAT, the Insitute of Violence, Abuse and Trauma.
“It’s been a multi-faceted, and very enlighting,” he said. “What we uncovered is the severity and extraordinary impact of victimization and domestic violence, particularly [that] a lot stems from them not have strong relationships with their fathers.”
Especially in high-risk communities of color, he said the damage is broad scale, and the community needs reinforcement for fathers to learn how to have a meaningful presence in their daughter’s lives. Without it, girls at risk.
“Father’s need to ‘pimp proof’ their daughters, and against physical, emotional sexual and financial abuse,” he said. “That’s the message that’s catching on around the country.”
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