After-school boxing program helps Fresno students stay on track

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- An after-school boxing program is packing a punch and helping some Valley students stay on course.

Sophomore Clarence Cushingberry says he's always been a good fighter, but thanks to West Side Boxing, he's found the right place to channel it.

"When I was little, I liked to fight a lot," Clarence said. "I got mad really easy, but with boxing and this program, I'm like alright cool I'll just wait, and then later on, when I step in the ring with someone, I just let it out."

"I work at the schools I see them, there's a lot of fights," said West Side Boxing director, Joby Jones. "I figured a lot of them need an outlet to get that anger out and channel it in the right direction, and I think boxing can help with that."

Now Clarence is one of the dozens of students who comes to the Hinton Community Center after school every day to box.

"We box, we train, we do homework, we have meetings on what we need to do," Clarence added.

The Police Athletics League started the program last summer.

Instructors give students boxing lessons, but it doesn't stop there. They also help the kids with homework and talk them through any issues.

"We'll sit down and talk to them about, how was school? What's going on? Are they struggling with anything? How's their relationship with their parents? Grades? Just if they need someone to talk to," Jones said.

Teaching them valuable life lessons they can apply in the ring and in life.

The program is free to students and open to kids 7 to 18 years old. For more details visit their Facebook page.
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