Downtown Youth Boxing gym inspires kids to dream big - My29 WFTC Minneapolis-St. Paul

Downtown Youth Boxing gym inspires kids to dream big

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(WJBK) -

On the east side of Detroit stands a simple building with its mission printed clearly above the door: Train Hard. But when you walk inside the Downtown Youth Boxing gym you see big dreams taking shape.

Coach Khali Sweeney founded the gym back in 2006 and had only six kids. Now, 65 kids are part of the program that is much more than boxing. It's also about keeping them safe and giving them an alternative to the streets of Detroit.

"Any and every kid in here, before you come in this room you've got to understand one things - it's books before boxing. This is not just a regular boxing gym, this is an academic program.

Coach Khali says teachers come into the building and work with the kids on a daily basis, Forgotten Harvest provides food for them and all participants are required to do community service.

"If you don't put something there for the kids to do something else, they will find something to do. And it might not be what you want. It may be a negative thing, there's a lot of negativity. But, there's a lot of positive things coming to Detroit right now, and with the positive coming to Detroit we want to make sure our kids are ready to be the next work force," says

The group is currently trying to raise money for a new facility.

For more information or to make a donation: http://downtownyouthboxing.org/

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