Wednesday, January 18, 2017

New Rules For This Year

The car died on me in the middle of the street last night.  The check engine light came on, which is never a good sign.  Then the car slowed down.  I was able to restart it and park it near my domicile.  Luckily, I wasn't too far away from my home when that happened.  My budget is very tight, and there's a possibility that the car may not be able to be fixed, depending upon what is wrong with it.

Of course, that meant I had to ride public transportation up to LaFollette today.  My boss was not on the premises, but he sent a message that he did turn in a special event request -- to allow for a ring to be set up outside for June's boxing show -- to the area manager.  After I found that out, I went on up to Eckhart Park for the boxing coach's meeting.

I like Thomas, the head of the boxing program because he's not much for a whole lot of nonsense.  He explains the reasoning as to why some things happen, why some things can't happen, and he gets straight to the point.  We went over the agenda for this year.  I knew beforehand that the park district budget had been cut down, so there was not going to be much any of the coaches could do about demanding extra equipment.  There is a private donor who donates funds to the program, but as Thomas pointed out, those funds have to be spent carefully.

When I see the kids at LaFollette again, I'm going to push two things:  the Chicago City-Wide Boxing tournament, and the Muhammad Ali Award.  The tournament takes place every year in April, and I have yet to have someone compete in it.  It's a good warm-up to the regular boxing shows that start in the summer.  The way things are looking down at the gym right now, I would be better off talking the tournament up to the teenagers.  The younger kids aren't showing much interest in the sport -- something that a few other coaches at the meeting were grumbling about, as they have the same problem.

The Muhammad Ali Award will be given to the best park district fighter of the year.  Judging will be based on the fights a person has had.  There was also talk of perhaps giving an award for Coach of the Year, as well.

I also have more backup when it comes to parents using the boxing program as a glorified babysitting service.  That does not seem to be the case with the kids who have been showing up to the 8-to-12-year-olds' class so far this session.  But it has been a major issue in the past.  Thomas told the coaches to inform the field house supervisors and have them suggest to the parents to move their kids into other activities, especially if the kids appear to show no interest in participating in the class activities.  We were also encouraged to inform the parents that boxing is indeed a sport and that there are expectations of the kids while they are in the class.

Thomas also let it be known that showboating and general goofing around from fighters at the boxing shows was no longer going to be tolerated.  I think I know where that decision came from.  There were some very disrespectful fighters at a boxing show I attended during the late summer/early fall.  A few of the coaches had to check them on their behavior.  Any fighter who is dancing around in the ring, talking trash to the other fighter during the match, etc., will have points taken from them.

Ada Park has a new coach named Emmanuel.  The search is still on for coaches to run boxing classes at Eckhart, Humboldt and Scottsdale.  I hope those get filled soon.  It would be nice to have a full roster of coaches.

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