(WSVN) – It’s one of the most unique after-school programs in South Florida, and for kids enrolled, you could say they think it’s a real hit. 7’s Kevin Ozebek is here with today’s Spotlight.
They learn to jab and punch. Twice a week after school, you’ll find these kids hard at work at South Beach Boxing.
They are part of a unique program called “Jolie’s Kids,” which teaches respect, discipline and strength through boxing.
Jolie Glassman, owner, Jolie’s Kids “I make sure they all go home like a champion.”
Gym owner Jolie Glassman started the classes for kids in 2014.
Jolie Glassman: “I don’t want them to be fighters, professional fighters. I want them to be fighters in life, so I want them to be fighters every day. Use your words, and discipline, and honor, and the integrity, and everything that comes with it.”
Here, the kids learn how to make all the right moves, hitting the bag, but they say that ends up translating to making all the right moves outside the gym.
Kids get stronger physically and mentally.
Ten-year-old Miranda has been in the program for four years. She has issues with anxiety and school bullies.
Miranda De Alarcon, Jolie’s Kids: “I just turn my anger into energy, and then I use the energy to punch the bag, and I just keep using that energy because I’ve been having some anxiety. This is like a bully free zone for me.”
Fifteen-year-old Elijah says boxing has done wonders for his self-confidence. He’s been in the program since he was 11.
Elijah Romero, Jolie’s Kids: “Made me more like disciplined. Made me like, respect, like myself and other people. When you come here, it actually feels like you’re on a team, and I think that’s, like, the most special, you know, part about the gym and, like, being in the program.”
Romeo Montana, head coach: “Remember, discipline is everything.”
Another plus: the discipline needed to learn boxing helps many improve their grades and self-esteem.
Olivier Amiel, daughter is in class: “They not only teach them how to work out, how to sweat, how to work for to get better, they teach them also how to, you know, feel good about their self.”
Romeo Montana: “I’m going to take a half a step forward.”
Head coach Romeo Montana is a former Golden Gloves boxer and Olympic athlete. He uses his years of experience in the ring to keep the kids on their toes.
Romeo Montana: “They have to have responsibility for everything they do. You have to have integrity, and you have to have confidence in everything you do, because without confidence, nothing works out.”
Kevin Ozebek: “And they get that from boxing?”
Romeo Montana: “They get that from boxing.”
If they can’t afford to pay for classes, students can apply for scholarships.
Jolie Glassman. “If you really want it, we want you. We want them, kids need an outlet, and they need to move, and if they want it to be through this, then hallelujah!”
Jolie calls boxing a “sweet science.” It’s the perfect fit for teaching kids to be strong, so they can succeed in the ring and in life.
For more information on Jollie’s Kids boxing program, click here.
Kevin Ozebek, 7News.
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