Westbury Boxing Gym held its annual fundraiser April 23, inviting the community to come to the M. Phipps Recreation Center on Post Avenue and see the impact they are continuing to have on young boxers.
Westbury Boxing Gym aims to help keep kids out of trouble, in addition to keeping them healthy. One of the things that makes the gym unlike any other is that it free for those who want to work out; men and women of all ages are invited to come in and use the equipment and coaches also volunteer their time to help boxers improve. Because the gym is free, donations and fundraisers are incredibly vital in keeping this community safe haven running.
Collins noted that the gym has helped many teens learn how to deal with difficult situations.
“Boxing is a lot like life. It’s hard, it’s tough, it’s fast. But it’s not about being the champion, it’s about getting through the next round,” Collins said. “We have a lot of young people who have come through this gym and are better for it.”
One of those people is Cory Yates. He admits that as a teenager, he got into trouble. But he said coming to the gym had a huge part in helping him get his life back on track.
“It’s a great place to get away from the bad stuff,” Yates said. “This place really helped me out. It helped my mindset and got me in the right place.”
The gym provides a welcoming environment for people who want to release some of the stress of life. Johanna Ingrao from Williston Park has been boxing for two years and describes it as therapeutic.
“I’ve only been coming to this gym since February but I think this has become my new home and I plan to be here everyday,” Ingrao said. “I like the family environment and the community. Everyone’s so nice here. Regardless of what’s going on in my personal life or at work, I can come here and relax.”
Yates agreed that the community environment is a huge part of what’s kept him coming back to Westbury Boxing the last six years.
“I love the environment and atmosphere,” Yates said. “They’re all great people. Everyone respects each other and it’s a great place all in all.”