Tuesday, December 09, 2014
The Boys Voice Their Opinions
The photo is of me surrounded by a group of kids in the gym at LaFollette Park. I think I was matching the kids up for sparring that day. It hard to do that because the kids are a wide range of sizes. Most of the twelve year olds are taller and bigger than I, and the most of the eight to ten year olds are very small. It's easier to match up the teens because a lot of them are the same height and approximately the same weight -- with a few exceptions.
The photo was taken by Martine Granby, who is a documentary producer. She interviewed me and took other photos, which are posted up at http://whenweblink.tumblr.com/.
The youth boxing classes have become increasingly male. The girls have disappeared, with the exception of Princess. "She is one annoying girl", one of the boys told me, and I agreed. Princess is quickly wearing out her welcome with most. I predicted that as more boys showed up, they would not be interested in putting up with her continuing antics.
Another issue I'm running into is the youths thinking there is open gym. A few teenage boys showed up and expressed interest in signing up. Then they left to play basketball, then returned later with a few more friends. "I thought we could just come in and box," one of them said. "I'll be glad to have you in here, but you have to sign up. Not my rule, but the Chicago Park District's rule," I explained. Youths don't seem to understand about liability and safety issues, but they are going to have to understand.
A kid who signed up in the past week broke the Cobra bag. It wasn't his fault; the bag was due to break anyway. I would love to order a new Cobra bag once the new budget year comes in, but the kids kept treating the old one like a toy. I'd rather not have another Cobra bag in the gym only to have it broken again in record time. The park district doesn't have money to throw around, and it's important that the kids learn they have to help take care of the equipment.