A boxing gym in Springfield that works to help keep kids off the street, may have to shut its doors at the end of the month.
In just two years time, Dean Fay, a Springfield Police officer, rented space on Belmont Avenue, renovated the building, and the Central City Boxing Gym was born. It’s located in the same neighborhood Fay patrols.
“What’s more important, we’ve had the ability to watch these kids develop into productive human beings,” Fay told 22News. “Kids that failed every class last year are now getting straight A’s.”
The program is a non-profit, and volunteer run. They hold tutoring sessions, coaching the kids and taking them to boxing tournaments. Fay invested everything he could into turning the space into a gym, but now the building is being sold. Central boxing was notified to leave by the end of the month.
“I gotta explain to these kids that there is a possibility we might have to shut the doors,” Fay expressed.
He said he is doing what he can to find a new space quickly, worried about where some kids might turn if the gym wasn’t there.
“Without that type of relationship, in some of these kid’s lives, they’re going to be looking the other way,” Fay added. “And when they look the other way, they’re going to find gangs and they’re going to find crime.”
Springfield eighth-grader Donovan Marsh told 22News his lawyer recommended the gym, and it turned out better than he thought.
“At first, to be honest, I didn’t really think it was going to be anything, I love it now,” said Marsh. “I got beat up, held my head high, and I stuck it through. It makes me think better because this would be something I could lose.”
Fay is hopeful the gym can find a way to go the distance.
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