WPAL DuBois Team814 And WPAL Pittsburgh National Team412 Hosts Amateur Boxing Seminar

Above photo: Members of both gyms gathered for a group photo.

A quality amateur boxing seminar was held at WPAL DuBois facility, from Friday to Monday (January 27th to 30th).Through a collaborative effort between WPAL DuBois Team 814 and WPIAL Pittsburgh National Team 412, a fine amateur boxing seminar was held at WPAL DuBois facility, from Friday to Monday (January 27th to 30th).

The clinic, which was free of charge, was open to anyone, whether they never put on a pair of gloves or hit a bag, or if they were an experienced boxer, as a great way to learn more about the sport. The target group was boys and girls, 6 to 18, but folks of all ages where invited. Participants were allowed to attend any or all of the nine sessions, during the four days.

    WPAL DuBois facility on West Long Avenue

    No cookie cutter sessions, as they all varied. The workouts, conducted by coaches from both gyms, were fast moving, challenging and fun, with the coaches interspersing huge doses good natured humor, with their instructions.

    A young participant getting some one-on-one instruction from Coach Hoy

    Participants received instruction on footwork, stance, rope skipping, plate lifts for strength, speedbag and heavy bag work. Some of the trainees sparred.

    Making the ropes sing

    This seminar, as well as other joint events between the two gyms, is the fruition the vision of three men, WPAL DuBois Director Aaron Beatty, and lifelong friends for roughly fifty years, Coach Jim Hoy from WPAL Pittsburgh and Coach Randy Strickland WPAL DuBois Coach. Coach Strickland and Coach Hoy grew up together in Clearfield, with both being involved in various sports, as athletes and coaches throughout the years.

    Lifelong friends Coach Hoy (on left) and Coach Strickland

    Team 412 Boxing Program, which has had and does have a number of national champions and nationally ranked boxers, is an athletic youth program founded to give under-resourced Pittsburgh city youth an opportunity to learn to box and nationally compete. Team members are trained by Professional USA Boxing Coaches. Team 412 trains at The 3rd Avenue Boxing Gym, located on 3rd Avenue and Ross Street, in downtown Pittsburgh.

    Coach Carl Collins with one of his trainees

    “I’m kind of new to the coaching scene. I’ve always been around boxers but I’m new to coaching. I’m loving it. The kids are loving it. It’s a win. I really don’t know what else to say.”

    Ring exercises

    Beatty shared, “Bringing kids from the inner city to DuBois to experience small town life and showing the young DuBois kids and the community what the Pittsburgh kids are all about; it’s the best of both worlds, if you ask me.”

    Coach Hoy had this to say, on Saturday, “Our kids work really worked hard and (are having) a great time. The guy who did most of the work today is Coach Collins.”

    Lennon “Moose” Bigelow Flanked by WPAL DuBois Director Aaron Beatty and Coach Randy Strickland

    Coach Strickland mentioned great relationship between the two teams. “We’re like sister gyms. We work out together and travel together. This is great exposure for the 412 and the 814. And it gives me an opportunity to see my life long friend.”

    Members of the two teams traveled to Lubbock, Texas last summer for the USA Boxing Festival. One of the participants was Team 814 member Lennon “Moose” Bigelow, who gained invaluable experience. Moose, who is only ten, boxes in the Bantam (11-12 year old division) and is ranked third nationally in the 119 pound division, by USA Boxing.

    Working out with plates

    And Beatty’s assessment of the event, “It was a great turnout of fresh faces and some returning boxers too! The Pittsburgh kids were treated like kings and queens by those from the community, and our local kids were shown a true testament of what boxing can do for anyone, anywhere, anytime! I love what we are able to do here for these kids!” 

    Great seminar and a fantastic mission, WPAL DuBois Team 814 and WPAL Pittsburgh Team 412!!