Greenville boys poised to compete in 2020 Olympics thanks to local boxing gym
Khalid Johnson, right, and Ernie Cuevas, left, duke it out preparing for Olympic gold (FOX Carolina)
GREENVILLE, SC (FOX Carolina) -
At the Greenville Boxing Club, the ground floor is where the fights and workouts happen; but downstairs, something different goes on: Homework.
And there, it always comes first.
"They do their homework first, even if they don't have no homework we make them go downstairs and practice reading for 30 minutes," said Shakir Robinson, a personal fitness trainer there. He started the after-school program with his mother years ago. Since then, it has evolved into something greater, combining the mental and the physical, which Robinson is using to groom two of his best student athletes.
Khalid Johnson and Ernie Cuevas, both 14, said the program has helped them focus in school, and now it is preparing them to box in the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo.
"It's helped me discipline myself a lot so I can control myself in my school environment," said Cuevas. "I'm definitely shooting for 2020. I'm gonna win gold there."
"I didn't like science," said Johnson of his school subjects. "I like it now, more than I used to. The program has helped me focus in the classroom," he said.
The after-school program has grown in size tremendously in the last three years. Every day there are about 20 children that come over after school, do their homework, then participate in rigorous physical exercise. It keeps them off the streets, and doing well in class, said Robinson.
Cuevas and Johnson are set to compete in the Junior Olympics Southeast Regional Tournament May 1-4. The event will be held at the TD Convention Center in Greenville. For more information, click here. Net proceeds for the event benefit the Greenville Boxing Club's after-school program.
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