Tucked away in the heart of Winnipeg’s Exchange District, in a sweaty gym basement lies a well-kept secret that strives to make life better for at-risk youth in Winnipeg through sport and volunteering.
The Pan Am Boxing Club offers free boxing classes to youth aged 13-17 in order to provide them with healthy and productive pastime. The boxing club however, is just the tip of the iceberg. This week, Pan Am is hosting two fundraisers for the extension of their youth program; Pan Am Place.
Pan Am Place is a transitional housing program for at-risk male youths aged 18-27. Residents of the program must adhere to a strict routine and code of ethics in order to reside at Pan Am Place. All residents must participate in workouts several times per week, devote a minimum number of hours per week to volunteering, attend school, be drug and alcohol-free and mentor others in the program.
“We believe that in order for youth to benefit completely from the positive aspects of the Pan Am youth-at-risk program, it is important that they become immersed in a supportive, encouraging and disciplined environment at all times, not just for a few hours per week. Avoiding unhealthy environments, destructive influences, abusive home/family situations and street life (drugs/alcohol/gang contact) are key to ensuring youth stay on track with school, exercise, volunteerism, & proper nutrition”.
In order to meet the needs of the residents of Pan Am Place, the boxing club hosts fundraisers a number of times per year and this upcoming weekend (July 7 and 8) there are two.
As part of First Friday’s in the Exchange, there is a Karma Spin Class Friday July 7th at 5:30pm. It’s a donation based class with a suggested donation of $10. Have you ever tried a spin class? Don’t knock it. It might just kick your ass.
Side note: I exercise regularly. I try to shake up my routine enough to work all the different muscle groups and avoid fatigue. I try to eat well, but burgers and chips are my achilles heel… I figure into the group I would consider to be fairly fit. And yet, I have never had my ass handed to me as hard as during a boxing workout at Pan Am Boxing. You try running up and down four flights of stairs with a medicine ball above your head! Seriously, it was the only time I thought I might puke from a workout.
If you’re more of a spectator, the second event might be more up your alley. On Saturday July 8th Pan Am is hosting a Boxing Card for $20 starting at 5:30. The card promises 8-15 bouts with featured Pan Am boxers taking on other local athletes as well as amateur and white collar matches.
And if you just want to try the workout, set to a glammed up soundtrack; check out their hair metal night coming up in August.