In response to an immediate and urgent need to create both an organization and a program that will assist and advise troubled young juveniles, the principles of Gleason’s Gym, Inc., have formed a non-profit organization, Gleason’s Athletic Club Inc.; featuring an agenda to aid juveniles who are burdened with problems, neglected and lacking wholesome parental support.
The program, as blueprinted by Gleason’s Athletic Club, Inc., is a serious adaptation of the principles taught at Gleason’s Gym for the past 70 years. It has developed healthy bodies, a view toward productive living, proper values and the confidence to support them and influence others to adopt them.
Boxing is a young person’s sport. As such it is ideally suited for the task of dealing with problem youngsters. A sport of conflict, it calls for demanding exercise routines, alertness under pressure, and tremendous stress while performing, aggressive behavior when required and excellent health.
Achieved through boxing it is these very accomplishments, once acquired, that turn problem youngsters into well-behaved, confident, reliable young people.
Exposed to the training routines in the Gleason’s Gym program, teenagers find that life’s problems become easier to solve, confidence increase, higher goals and standards suddenly evolve and dealing with the threat of persistent conflict in their home environment becomes manageable.
As sport of conflict, boxing is life’s closest match up. In both you prepare, you compete, you win, you lose, you draw, you then repeat.
In boxing as in life, “you can run, but you can’t hide.” This is the very principle that is emphasized in the Gleason’s Gym program.
The Gleason’s Gym program is not one of improving reading, writing and arithmetic skills, these Gleason’s leaves to the educators. Developing, through boxing and boxing exercises, confidence, discipline, health, new and proper values, is the Gleason’s Gym aim. This, we at Gleason’s feel is significant enough to merit our full attention.
In summing up, it is hoped those in the program will be better prepared to take their place in the community, resist the undesirable elements, and affect some changes that will make for a better environment for their friends and neighbors in their community.
1. Administrative Description, Background and Qualifications
Gleason’s Gym has a proved and honorable record of service to the Borough of Brooklyn, the City of New York, and one might even claim the nation as a whole. Over the many years, since its inception in 1937, it has turned out boxing greats including Barney Ross, Jake LaMotta, Muhammad Ali, Carlos Ortiz, Mark Breland, Mike Tyson and Zab Judah. In total over 131 World Champions, 3 Hall of Famers, 2 Olympic Gold Medallists and hundreds of Amateur champions have been trained and nurtured at Gleason’s Gym.
Now this famous landmark of boxing legends would like to show it’s wealth of experience and expertise with the community through a program entitled “Give a Kid a Dream”. The purpose is to enrich the lives of young people, ages 14-18, by providing them with training in the fine points and techniques of an honorable sport and profession. By exposing the participating youth to positive role models including Carlos Ortiz, Emile Griffith, Juan LaPorte and Mark Breland, by inculcating values promoting abstinence from all addictive substances, by emphasizing respect for quickness of mind and agility of body, and encouraging the pursuit of energy outlets and leisure time activities that are constructive, as opposed to destructive.
At the same time, the “Give a Kid a Dream” program will promote positive self-esteem, develop affirmative self-image and cultivate self-confidence and positive character building through clean living and clear thinking. Gleason’s Gym, and it’s non profit affiliate, “Gleason’s Athletic Club”, are uniquely qualified to carry out their proposed services in that it is the largest operative gym in the United States and boasts the greatest number of boxing luminaries – 131 World Champions in all. The facility is staffed by outstanding coaches and trainers, as well as seasoned sparring partners, who have worked to develop the talents of the fables and famous. Well stocked with 4 boxing rings, 9 Heavy bags, 6 speed bag platforms, locker and shower facilities, free weights, conditioning areas and over 15,000 square feet of usable space, Gleason’s Athletic Club can offer a rich and rewarding alternative to street violence and vulnerability.
The gym is also heavily involved with instruction in related defensive sports including wrestling, kickboxing and martial arts. As an offshoot of the program,
2. Drug Free Reinforcement
Participants will be exposed to values reinforcing abstinence and underscoring the need for a healthy body as well as a strong body. Drug counselors will be an integral part of this program. Recruitment will be done via flyers (English/Spanish) and posting of notices throughout the community. Outreach will be accomplished via recommendation from schools, churches, and the local police precinct. Participants will be referred to different practice meets, competitions, and events including the Golden Gloves, US Olympics etc. Staff will include one program administrator (working part time), three trainers/coaches, two to four sparring partners etc., all of whom will be licensed and authorized by the New York State Athletic Commission and/or USA Boxing.
The facility selected, Gleason’s Gym, which has over 15,000 square feet of usable space and is fully equipped with four rings, freeway training areas, shower and locker rooms. Ample office space is also available. Gleason’s Gym was also selected, as the facility due to it’s rich and glorious past, having been a training center for 131 World Champions and Hall of Famers. Truly, if walls could speak, Gleason’s Gym could enrich us all.
The overall program goals will involve the following key elements:
a. Training boxing technique
The specific measurable objectives include the following:
a. By the end of the program year, a minimum 30 youths from the City of New York will be fully and regularly participating in the Gleason’s Athletic Club as evidenced by attendance on sign-in sheets, visitor’s log book etc.
Objectives will be measured and documented via sign-in sheets, recorded visitations and workshop schedules, training videotapes, questionnaires, surveys, statistical data, maintained on file to reflect participants achievements in various competitive events.
The “Give a Kid a Dream” program promises to be a positive, motivating and productive experience from which the participants will emerge better equipped, both physically and mentally, to deal with their environment and overcome obstacles to career success.