Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Scholarships and An Empty Boxing Gym

I received an email from Tommy, the head of the park district's boxing program.  He told me not to worry about the upcoming boxing show in July because it will be just fine.  But as of right now, I don't have ten youths in order to make ten fights.

There's simply too many other things going on at the field house, and at the schools the youths attend for them to focus solely on boxing.  I've been told that the youths have been encouraged to participate in every sport available.  The main reasoning is that the youths may qualify for sports scholarships when it comes time to go to college.  But let's get real.  I'm betting most of us know people who were good athletes in high school and/or in college.  Did they get sports scholarships?  No, not most of them.  They had to find another way to pay for school.  Even if they did receive a scholarship, it might have only been a partial one.  Did most of them go on to be professional athletes?  No.  In my opinion, youths, particularly our youths of color, need to stop being fed that being a sports star is the only way to success in life.

There are very few boxing scholarships available.  Very few colleges offer boxing programs.  I'm going to tell a kid to go for a scholarship that they have to use their brain to get, not their physicality.  I'm not going to encourage them to take up another sport just to get a scholarship that may not materialize.  I'm not going to tell them to take up another sport, period, because I'd rather not spend most of my work hours sitting in an empty boxing gym.

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