Support Golpes Y Libros: Bringing Education to the Gyms

Golpes Y Libros

Several years ago I started a foundation called, Golpes y Libros or “Punches and Books” with the goal of bringing books and boxing equipment to gyms throughout Central America. On a small scale we helped Panama gyms, but we did not accomplish what we had set out to do. Now, nearly a decade later, our focus and mission has changed. Equipment fulfills a need, but an education ensures knowledge and direction for young boxers with short shelf lives in the sport. The majority of boxers sacrifice an education for the ring, because training becomes their livelihood. No longer a priority, boxers eschew their studies, take one or two classes, but rarely return to finish their education. It is a sad reality of young athletes throughout these countries.

Why should they concern themselves with their studies when a trainer or manager is whispering in their ears about a future in the sport? Most have to wake up at 7 am to begin a rigorous training regime that lasts late into the afternoon. To them, they are following a dream. Unfortunately, that same boxer wakes up at age 26 retired and with no discernible option. If many will argue that the main issue with the sport is the absence of a pension for retired boxers or an oversight committee, I would counter that – The lack of an education leaves a lot of these fighters broken. Golpes y Libros yearns to take small steps to help fill in the gaps of this problem.

If we start with one gym and begin to build what we refer to as mini libraries in the corner of these boxing havens that would provide boxers – who have no place else to go – to finish their work between training sessions. The next step would be to coordinate with local universities to bring volunteer teachers in to tutor these boxers three nights a week and even teach small classes. Young fighters, their friends, and other acquaintances look to the gym as more than just a place to train. Why not bring education to them?

The last step would be to take advantage of the contacts of influential managers to encourage them to use their resources to start a weekend lecture series to bring in local financial managers to talk to these young fighters about their financial options when they turn professional, how to read a contract, and, most importantly, how to handle the purses they receive after every fight. Boxing needs to change, and establishing a focus on education is a key to fostering that change. Now is the time to implement these changes, so that fighters realize when their careers end in their 20s, their lives don’t. Please help become a part of this solution. As we initiate this movement toward education, any interest or advice would be greatly appreciated.

One Comment

  1. Chris, what an awesome way to use your platform. Let me know if there’s ever anything I can do to help.
    -Matt Silver

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