June 27, 2013
Boxing legend Marvelous Marvin Hagler was in Chicago this week to visit a remarkable Laureus-supported project that’s helping keep young people away from crime.
The Laureus Academy Member, who was undisputed middleweight champion for over six years, visited the Chicago Youth Boxing Club (CYBC) on Tuesday, June 25.
There he spoke to young people benefitting from the project and saw for himself how the young coaches are helping children from the area better their lives and keep away from trouble.
Having seen the work being carried out, Marvelous said: “I think this is a great idea, because it helps to keep the kids off the streets which is most important, out of the drug reach, and it keeps them safer by giving them a place to play where they don’t have to worry about street gangs or whatever taking away something they are trying to achieve.”
This work is made possible due to Laureus USA’s support of Coach Across America (CAA), a unique national coaching and mentoring program of Up2Us. Last year, the initiative deployed 40 coaches in 10 sports-based youth development projects across Chicago.
In 2012, thanks to the Laureus Sport for Good Foundation USA (Laureus USA), in collaboration with Mercedes-Benz USA (MBUSA), supported nearly 6,500 youth in the Greater Chicago Area.
Kids from CYBC make up just some of those benefitting. And the children enrolled in the programme say they now feel safer, healthier and have more self-confidence.
"I can talk to my (CAA) coaches about anything,” said 11-year-old Josh, a fifth-grader who has been attending CYBC for the last three years. “I like what [the program] does to my self-esteem. It boosts it up! I have learned how to deal with pressure.”
“My coaches have taught me never to give up on myself,” added 12-year-Felix, who injured his back while training for the Silver Gloves National boxing tournament. Felix attributes his perseverence to his coaches and the program.
CYBC’S mission is to give youth a constructive, healthy alternative to gang violence and drug activity, while helping them build the skills and determination necessary to realise a positive future for themselves and their community.