“Guns Down, Gloves Up” offers an alternative to gang culture – CT Insider

Back-to-school season heralds a whirlwind of activities — homework, exams, sports, fundraisers, extracurriculars — but frighteningly, it also brings with it the specter of school shootings. We in Connecticut are still haunted by the tragedy of Sandy Hook a decade ago. Just last May, we faced another incidence associated with violence in our own backyard, when a Fairfield Prep student was killed at a house party in Shelton.

Perhaps it’s not surprising that our society is rife with violence when our children are surrounded by it inside pop culture: on television, in movies, in violent video games. Our youngest adults, who are just now legally old enough to buy a first drink, were raised on 9/11 with their mother’s milk. And even though we’re the third-smallest state, Connecticut is by no means exempt from either the heroin epidemic or the gang culture that plagues the nation. National gangs like the Latin Kings operate here, as do smaller local gangs like 20 Luv, and others, like the New York City-based Bloods, are seeping over our border.

It’s time to put an end to youth violence in Connecticut. That can only be accomplished if we actively teach our own most vulnerable and high-risk youth the tools to reject violence.

That’s where the Chick Rosnick Boxing Club, Inc., comes in. We are a Stratford-based, registered nonprofit whose mission is to teach youngsters in Stratford and the surrounding towns the skills and tools to manage lifelong situations and challenges that might otherwise result in violent altercations. We provide the nurturing, safe environment overseen by trained mentors. The values we instill — self-discipline, respect, good character, relationship building, goal setting — form a skill set necessary to become positive, productive plus responsible citizens of the community.

Our “Guns Down, Gloves Up” approach is built on intentional, vetted strategies and intervention practices. Studies repeatedly show that boxing is the best sport to reduce gang culture, as boxing is a proven means to manage anger and aggression and channel energy in a constructive way.

This type of early action helps reduce the risk of young people getting involved in violent lifestyles; it empowers them to make the right choices in addition to deglamorizes the lifestyle of crime, prisons, bande, and weapons.

Housed in a registered gym, all of us teach the particular disciplines of boxing, martial arts and physical fitness to children aged 3 to young adult. Our own youngest participants learn motor skills, coordination and listening skills. The teens receive a wide variety of life-skill enrichment programs, from job-seeking to self-defense. In fact , we all welcome female staff members from juvenile detention centers to teach them self-confidence and self-defense as deterrents to getting hurt on the job. We provide scholarships and even financial aid for our programs. We are thrilled to take our customized presentations offsite, and deliver them directly to schools throughout the region.

All this goes hand in hand with the coaching associated with boxing. Each of our participants have gone on to win local, condition and even national titles.

The particular Chick Rosnick Boxing Club was created within memory regarding Hyman “Chick” Rosnick, a new lifelong boxing enthusiast, five-sport athlete, coach and educator. To fund the facility together with programming, we are holding each of our second annual Black Tie Amateur Boxing Dinner Show on Saturday, Oct. 1, at Vazzano’s Four Seasons in Stratford. Some of the best amateur male and female athletes from the East Coast will participate. Over 500 people attended last year’s show, and the proceeds went to critical renovations and reconstruction as well as new equipment and additionally outreach.

Tickets are $65 for dinner and the display, and $25 for the demonstrate only. For more information and to purchase tickets, email [email protected] com. To donate or become a sponsor, please email [email protected] com.  

The Chick Rosnick Boxing Club, Inc., is an authorized 501(c)3 organization dedicated to teaching the art of boxing to boys and girls in the Stratford area not to mention beyond. Its 4, 000 square-foot authorized facility is located at 360 Sniffens Lane, Stratford, CT. For more information visit www.chickrosnickboxingclub.com .  

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