Deputy serves community through boxing club

by | March 16, 2018 11:42 am

Last Updated: March 16, 2018 at 10:27 am

180 Boxing & Fitness, a gym and training facility in downtown Manning, was opened by Gabe Blackwell on July 8, 2016.

In addition to opening 180 Boxing, Gabe works for Clarendon County Sheriff’s Office as a school resource officer for Manning Elementary School.

Since its’ opening, the members of the gym had to train without a ring. “It was very important for us to get a ring so that our boxers can learn how to cut off the ring, set up traps, and get out of the corner,” said Gabe.

Now, almost two years later, Coach Gabe was finally able to order that ring. On March 10, he rented a U-Haul and went and got it. “We are installing the ring ourselves,” Gabe said.

While they didn’t have access to a ring, Gabe designed and taught the fundamentals of footwork, technique and movement. “We came up with drills that would teach our members how to move inside a ring,” said Gabe.

Prior to getting the ring, members from 180 Boxing & Fitness participated in amateur boxing events and received accolades for their movement inside the ring. Opponents were shocked to later hear that the gym in which these boxers trained had no ring.

“Now that we have the ring,” Gabe states,” I can get the young children better prepared to box.” The younger boxers will be able to use the ring to get the feel for the way it moves and they move on it. “I didn’t want the younger guys to compete until they were comfortable boxing inside the ropes.”

Boxing helps with personal development and discipline in a safe space while under trained supervision. It helps children, as well as adults, with their physical well-being. In today’s world of computers, smart phones and gaming, boxing can combat obesity by getting the kids off the couches. Boxing burns extra fat and it burns it fast. Wearing 16 ounce gloves and repeatedly throwing punches, while staying in constant motion takes a lot of endurance and stamina. It is no easy task to complete one three minute round. Along with the physical

benefits, it is psychologically stimulating. It helps a person find inner strength, overcome obstacles and builds character and confidence.

Boxing also teaches how to keep a person’s anger in check. During a match, losing focus is a sure way to lose the fight. The same type of mental focus that boxing requires can also help children learn to maintain focus in the classroom. This sharpened focus could then lead to improved behavior and grades.

“We want to have an Amateur Boxing Match in Manning this year,” Gabe said, “But we need to find a doctor that would be willing to volunteer his time at the moment. We are a small gym but we are growing and the ring is going to help in so many ways.” Once a doctor is found, Gabe will be able to better plan for the event.

180 Boxing & Fitness currently has 22 members and welcomes anyone interested in learning more about boxing to please stop by the gym for more information. It is located at 31 N. Brooks Street in Manning. The gym opens at 4:00 p.m. for classes.

comments » 1

  1. Comment by Marie Morris

    March 17, 2018 at 06:30

    His sheriff should be very proud of the dedication this young man gives to his community in both law enforcement and helping keep a community fit… not to mention the more youth you keep occupied in positive activities the better chance we as society don’t lose them to the streets. Keep don’t great things Mr. Blackwell.

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