Police coaching kids at Colorado Springs boxing gym
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KKTV) - Kids and teens at a Colorado Springs boxing gym have some new sparring partners and coaches.
Triple Threat Gym is hosting Colorado Springs Police in a program called the Police Athletic League, or ‘PAL’ program. A group of 9 police officers are taking turns going to the kids’ boxing classes to show them that officers are normal humans too, beyond the uniforms. Officers volunteer to coach in their personal, off-duty time. They get certified through USA Boxing. The PAL program is a non-profit, and it is not under direct oversight of CSPD.
“It’s not about us, it’s about giving back to kids and teens and families in our community, and getting to know our community outside of a law-enforcement capacity,” said community relations officer Adam Menter. He says, the police show up in their personal workout clothes, and prioritize making a connection with kids before anything else. “We just started to get to know the kids and the families here. Little by little, they asked us what we did and we explained, and we had already developed a relationship at that point... so it was really cool to kind of start it in more of a organic way.”
One of the coaches at Triple Threat Gym, Estevan Media, runs a gang prevention program, Second Chance Through Faith. He reached out to Menter several years ago, asking if there would be a way to get officers interacting with kids and teens on a personal level at the gym.
“A lot of these kids that I work with, they get in trouble, they come from a broken home, they come from a troubled past, or their dad is in prison… and it’s hard for them because the only influences they have are on the streets, " Medina said. “I think the biggest part of it is bridging that gap between the community and law enforcement.”
Triple threat gym isn’t just any boxing gym. They have a reputation for several Olympic boxers and world champions training there, all while interacting with the youth boxers. The gym’s owner and head coach, Charles Leverette, has coached the U.S. Army’s boxing team and the Olympic boxing team over his years in the sport. He says he’d like to expand the gym and the PAL program to include more sports, but right now he doesn’t have the space. He hopes the gym will eventually be able to afford a larger space. Click here to learn more about Triple Threat Gym, how to donate, and memberships.
Memberships are $50 for young kiddos and $60 for teens, but Leverette says he doesn’t want cost to prevent kids from getting involved. He says he’s willing to work with families on pricing.
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