Gloves up, Guns Down event
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (CBS19 NEWS) -- Gloves Up, Gun Down is more than just an event to show off talent, it’s the community making changes.
"It’s more than fighting. To actually be able to sit down or meet face to face with someone that you have odds with to be able to talk things over,” said John Thompson, Fitness Coach.
“There’s just so much violence going on in our community. It’s a way of promoting positivity in our community. A way to get people exposed to what it actually looks like to not take a gun and try to shoot somebody but instead pick up gloves and box it out,” said Jessica Carter, Founder of HER Sports.
Wartime Fitness held an event Saturday to engage the youth to keep them off the streets.
The community showed up with more than 600 people.
“It shows how much the community wants to get involved in helping our future leaders and bosses. Helping to stop the gun violence and helping us create a safe area and a safe haven for the kids to grow and learn and build,” said George Rivera, Owner of Wartime Fitness.
Rivera says boxing builds confidence, and building confidence encourages people to turn to outlets other than a gun.
A fighter shares how this event impacted him.
“This is my first fight with the medal, yeah. It means a lot to me. It just means it’s the first fight in front of people. I started boxing to gain more confidence and I definitely got it out of today,” said Joseph Rauli, Wartime Fitness Fighter.
Brother’s United to Cease the Killing sponsored the event. Members say they know firsthand how much it’s needed in the community.
“It ain’t really about the boxing. It’s the training of course but the discipline that comes with the training and how to deal with individuals other than putting up guns. That’s why we’re here,” said Herb Dickerson, Executive Director of the Brothers United to Cease the Killing.
One member says after boxing he would feel calm and level-headed. He says it’s not as violent as people think.
“I think football is more violent than boxing. I mean especially when they’re boxing like this with three rounds. One-minute rounds in 16 to 20-ounce gloves. It’s really safe. It just teaches people discipline,” said Bryan Page, Assistant Executive Director of Brother’s United to Cease the Killing.
A big community turnout means a big impact on the work done at Wartime Fitness, leading to a better future for local kids.
“Big time, It’s going to help us sponsor kids who can’t afford it so it’s going to help us sponsor the kids that don’t need to worry about paying or anything else,” said Rivera.
To donate to Wartime Fitness or sponsor a child, visit https://www.facebook.com/wartimefitness/.