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State funds to help revive Atlantic City PAL youth boxing

  • State

The Atlantic City PAL's boxing program received some help getting off the mat.

A $65,000 grant from the state will go toward reviving the program for city kids ages 11 to 15.

The state also gave the same amount to the program in 2019, before the pandemic interrupted.

"This is extremely important because we get an opportunity now to work with kids all year round
pretty much," said Lt. Wil Santiago, the Police Athletic League's executive director.

While some sports seasons are limited to just a few months, boxing is year-round. Those who participate also learn more than moves on the mat, he said.

They learn nutrition, life skills and even financial skills.

"Everything of life that we can show them," Santiago said.

There are currently 15 kids committed to the full year, with about 26 total in boxing.

"I am extremely proud of the PAL boxing program," Police Chief James Sarkos said. "It develops confidence, teaches self-discipline and encourages healthy lifestyles while developing value and ethics in our youth."

State Attorney General Matthew Plakin and Athletic Control Board Commissioner Larry Hazzard Sr. announced the grant along with one to the Ike Williams Boxing Academy in Trenton.

“Offering safe places for youth to enrich their physical fitness, minds, and wellbeing gives them an opportunity to better their futures,” Platkin said. “The programs we are announcing funding for today transcend boxing and can have an impact far beyond the ring. I’m proud to support our youth and their communities through these initiatives.”

Mayor Marty Small said the city is thankful for the grant.

"This is all part of the Small administration's commitment when it comes to recreation activities for our youth," he said.

author

Lynda Cohen

Lynda Cohen founded BreakingAC after working as a local newspaper reporter for more than two decades. She is an NJPA award-winner and was a Stories of Atlantic City fellow.

Sunday, June 16, 2024
STEWARTVILLE
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