MEDFORD, Ore. – A boxing program in Medford is going beyond the ring to encourage kids to pursue their dreams and give them positive role models. Spartan boxing has been working with kids for about six years, some of them come from troubled backgrounds, but through the K.E.Y program, kids learn about much more than boxing. It’s about what happens outside of the gym that matters.
“A boxing gym saved my life,” Spartan Boxing Gym Owner, Troy Wohosky said.
Troy admits he hasn’t had the easiest life. He says boxing provided him the stability he never had.
“I just didn’t know how to channel my aggression in a positive way and I was gettin’ in trouble joined a gang,” Wohosky said.
Through all of that, boxing was his constant. It kept him going and gave him much needed discipline.
“Boxing kept me grounded,” he said.
Now as a coach, he’s paying it forward.
“I wanna lead by a good example.”
He’s part of ‘keep encouraging youth’ or the K.E.Y program.
“We really get in touch with their families and go to their schools and check in with their attendance and their academics,” he said. “That’s very important to education.
In this partnership between Jackson County Community Justice and Life Art, Troy and the Spartan Boxing family work with kids from all over the community to give them creative outlets and help them develop skills.
“It shows girls they can do boxing too and not just boys,” Deja Hayes said. “They always ask for your report cards and make you’re doing good in school.”
But it doesn’t stop when the final bell rings. The program works to take care of the kids in all aspects of their lives acting as role models.
“It’s wonderful because they check up on them and you know that it not only here in this atmosphere once they get outside they will be checking in on them,” Deja’s grandmother, Mary Bass said. “If you need anything you can call them like I said it really is like a family.”
For Troy, the sport is saving him all over again.
“I believe in life you shoot for your dreams and ambitions and it will come, and with the right mentors,” he said. “All it takes is one mentor and one positive person to change a kids life to pursue their dreams and think positively.”
On August 24th, Spartan boxing and the K.E.Y. program will be showcasing some of their boxers. They will compete and tell their stories to find out more information you can go to spartanboxinggym.com
Devin Gooden graduated from Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication with a Master’s degree in Sports Journalism.
She has spent most of her life in Atlanta, Georgia and received her undergraduate degree from the University of Georgia in Business Management.
When she’s not reporting, Devin practices yoga, reads thriller novels and loudly cheers for her beloved Georgia Bulldawgs.