Boxing is more than a sport that teaches participants how to throw and avoid punches.
To the Child Youth Services summer boxing camp at Tolson, they learned the art of boxing from 9 a.m. to noon, from July 9 to 13.
Camp participants range in age from 8 to 17 years and had skills ranging from absolute beginner to early novice.
Anthony Hembrick, contractor and boxing and agility instructor teaches the class. He imparts his knowledge from his time in the sport as a Fort Bragg former golden gloves boxer and a 1988 Olympian. With a final record of 135-15, Hembrick said he chose a long time ago to give back to the Family members of Fort Bragg.
“My main reason for doing this is not to just teach children how to box, but I want to help restart the interest in the sport here on Fort Bragg,” said Hembrick. “This used to be the Mecca of boxing and now they have no boxing at all. I’m just trying to rebuild some interest in the program.
“Ultimately, I want to not only resurrect the post team, but I would like to see boxing Olympians come out of here again.”
Hembrick knows his goals are lofty, but he believes the key to achieving them begins with teaching the basics of boxing skills to children.
“To me, the basics are the foundation to having a good program,” said Hembrick. “Here, I teach them how to stand, double jab and agility drills. It’s important to work on agility because that is just as important as knowing the basics of boxing.”
The camp is divided into several sessions that include training, drills and lectures on the practiced skills.
I was really excited about boxing,” said Joed Caamano, 11. “The rest of the camps that were available this summer weren’t as interesting to me so I choose boxing because it’s really competitive. To me, the physicality of boxing just makes it a perfect workout for me.”
Even though the ideas and concepts taught here are mostly physical, participants take away a sense confidence and security from the skills taught.
“I love it because I get to work hard and I love learning how to protect myself,” said Breeann Allen, 9. “ Plus being here learning with your friends makes all the work seem easier.”