Monday, September 20, 2004

Boxing Program for At-Risk Youth

Alcohol & Drug Prevention Program for At Risk Youth using Sanctioned Competitive Amateur Boxing

This program is designed to assist the Native American Indian youth in making good, positive choices in life. The objective would be to develop the whole individual, making the person a winner in life not just in the ring, this aspect makes it more than just another boxing program. Using physical fitness and proper conditioning for competitive amateur boxing as the primary focus.

However influencing the growth of the young person in a positive way would be the overall goal, by addressing the physical, mental, spiritual and emotional values of each individual. The requirements on the youth are, that they must agree to be alcohol & drug free, willing to have an intimate relationship with the Creator on a daily basis and want to get into the best physical shape through exercise, plus they must be willing to stay in school and stay out of trouble.

It can be viewed as a Community Based Self Improvement Project and can be funded through several sources. Alcohol & Drug Intervention is one of the primary sources but Law Enforcement, Health & Wellness, Cultural Preservation as well as an Educational enhancement programs are other options. The need for positive intervention for disadvantaged at-risk youth is greater than ever and can be easily justified.


Boxing Club Rules & Brief Implementation Plan

Be willing to talk to the Creator everyday through prayer... Young people face problems and situations everyday that are sometimes complex and hard to understand. Spiritual awareness is essential and having the Creator in their lives everyday will be encouraged. For some youth it is not the inability to grasp a concept of a higher power, it is the lack of role models around them that do sincerely pray. We want them to come to firmly believe that only the Creator can effectively solve those problems they encounter on a day to day basis. Religious tolerance can come through understanding; we want to expose them to concepts and ideals concerning the different types of religions.

Do Not Use Alcohol or Drugs or smoke cigarettes…
Prevention through education and intervention would be the cornerstone of this program. Classroom training, speakers, movies/films anything we can use to provide information about this very serious issue could be used. We need to take every opportunity we can to make them aware of the true dangers, when they make the choice to abuse alcohol or use drugs. Moreover all trainers, coaches and staff should be alcohol & drug free, setting the example for the youth to follow.
Attend School Daily; try your best in class… The need for education is vital and will be stressed at every chance. If we can help identify problem areas in academics then we can also connect them with tutors and/or mentoring. The program can be a source to help solve problems the young people face. If we can help in career development we should. Having a third party release formed signed by the parents so the staff can be made aware of any deficiencies the participant might have in school could be helpful.

Come to the Gym Daily, get into the best shape you can through exercise… We want to expose them to as many different types of physical fitness that is possible, getting them into the best shape we can. Good health, top conditioning are prerequisites to a positive attitude about themselves and are absolutely essential in becoming a winning competitive amateur boxer. Simply put, in order to be a champion in the ring you have to be in top shape. Strict serious guidelines must be enforced for personal safety and liability, when using any boxing equipment and/or when training, Absolutely No Horseplay would be tolerated.

Do Not Fight or get into trouble… Proper social behavior is going to be a must. Conflict resolution, self control and proper self discipline are all things the participants must be encouraged to strive for. We need to teach respect, respect for others and their opinions, but more importantly respect for themselves. We would want to build champions not bullies. We could take on different community projects from time to time, i.e. clean an elders yard, cut wood for elders, serve food at events, do something positive and helpful in our community. Helping with projects gives the participant a sense of self worth and self esteem allowing them to feel good about themselves.

Be willing to express yourself… The objective of this concept is to get them to open up and express their feelings or identify their concerns about problems they are facing today. The program can document, track and develop this information into a resource for other committees in the community to use. If we develop this right, we could create a web site and share with the Internet community who are dealing with similar issues. This could easily be one of the biggest assets of this program, dealing with problems that the Native American youth feel are important to them.