One day as I was going about my daily routine, I ran across a guy that told me about an old fashioned fish fry that occurs on the corner of Dickerson & Cleveland on Fridays. I went by just to check it out, and when I got there I noticed an emblem over a Red Door. It was the same emblem from a T-shirt I got from a guy named Roy who had purchased a Contributor from me in 2016. One of the elder guys told me that the fish fry was a fundraiser for the Neighborhood Hopes Youth Boxing Gym. It’s a gym that hosts sparring matches and boxing tournaments for Nashville youth.
I looked into the whites of its three wonderful coaches — Roy Bohannon, Mr. Charles Edwards Walsh, and Calton Sparrow — and saw the desire they have to pour their lifetime of Olympic and professional experiences and discipline by nurturing male and female youth ages seven and up. Yes, these kids are learning the basics of boxing but it also instills in them firm discipline and self-defense.
While I was in the gym, I noticed they bring about a true and very sturdy standard of teamwork. The coaches come from different backgrounds. Being a part of the gym, the youths choose to reach for higher marks in life starting with grades, and moving into their self-realization that the honest love and respect they receive from one another in the gym is more important than the troubles in or out of schools.
When they are competing either in the gym and or on the road, they show the mental and physical growth they have received by being dedicated to training and mastering techniques.
As they face off in the ring, they execute their boxing and discipline skills. After a match they hug and congratulate one another. These actions are really needed back in this world.
Outside the ring, they learn communication and self-disciplinary skills. They are building positive futures. This is the best investment we can make in our youth today. It’s not just some workout class. These kids are setting goals, learning positive outlets to release youthful energy, and learning healthy eating and exercise practices in a safe environment, even becoming positive role models to other youth.
Neighborhood Hopes' coaches are committed to the athlete's overall development. They have monthly speakers that talk about various life topics, and they organize monthly field trips that unite the youth as team participants. In the gym, they have a wall known as the "Champion of the Month" where they recognize deserving youth for their accomplishments. Who knows, one day "Music City" just might turn out the next world champion boxer coming from Neighborhood Hopes Youth Boxing Gym, where it's all about nurturing youth and understanding that they have frustrations, but can learn to channel that frustration into bettering and brightening their futures. It’s truly worth being a part of.
The owner and head coach Roy Bohannon started boxing at the age of 8 years old and has been able to win a large number of tournaments all the way up to the Olympics. In 1996 he decided to turn professional and he respectfully ended his career with a record of 13-4 & 7 KO's. Johhny Toccos sparred with just about everyone from the minors to Mike Tyson. Mr. Charles Edwards Walsh sees giving back to the youth as being his life-long dream.