By Ukee Washington
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Four days a week, boxing trainers in Tacony create a space for kids in the neighborhood. It’s all done in honor of a man who loved boxing.
The Jack Costello Boxing Club teaches children ages 9 and up. Those students are also learning self-confidence they’ll take into adulthood.
Fourteen-year-old Ramon Alameda is learning to float like a butterfly and sting like a bee.
“Just try and like defend yourself as as much as you can and like keep moving,” Ramon said.
For the last year, Ramon has been taking boxing lessons at the non-profit Jack Costello Boxing Club. Costello was a local boxing trainer in the ’60s and ’70s and is even in the Pennsylvania Boxing Hall of Fame. He died in 1990. Family and friends started this club in his honor.
Every coach is a volunteer. About 30 children show up Monday through Thursday from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Volunteer Joe Jesus said, “Some are shy. A lot of them can’t.. most, like 95 percent of them, can’t even jump rope.
But with discipline and training they learn.
Stephen Borras, age 10, said, “I thought I wasn’t going to last the week, but I ended up lasting more than a week.”
The kids train next to serious adult boxers like the Nance brothers, Kelvin and Jeffrey Jr., who plan to go pro this year.
“I want to show them that hard work pays off,” said Jeffrey.
The coaches here say a lot of the children are learning to defend themselves..
“Believe it or not, a lot of them are a lot of them come in here and say they’re being bullied in school,” said Jesus. “It’s for self-protection … and discipline.
They discourage outside fighting. Keep it in the ring, they say, and keep working at it.
Even though there’s a $10 a month fee, the coaches say they don’t turn away children who can’t pay.
You can contact them through their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/costelloboxing