Fairley High partners with local church to intensify boxing program

Published: Jan. 18, 2023 at 7:59 PM CST
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - There have been many initiatives to combat youth and gun violence in Memphis. One long-running program at a local school is amping up its meaning to “Guns down and Gloves up” with the help of a local church.

“So many of our youth out there, picking up guns, fighting each other and shooting each other,” said Angela Randle, the first lady of Church of the Living God and DDB Boxing. “One of the things we said is guns down and gloves up.”

Since 2015, Fairley High School has offered boxing as a class credit. In February, the school partnered with Church of the Living God, giving the after-school program new life while adding a counseling component.

“Honestly, the first time I was going to come, I did not think I was going to do this,” said senior Xaveion Clark. “But I tried it out and here we are. It’s the best thing I’ve ever done honestly.”

Clark is one of 15 students taking advantage of the DDB boxing program.

He said his skills have grown, but he’s also grown spiritually.

“I learned discipline through the church, actually,” Clark said. “My coach actually takes me to church with him and it’s awesome. We do everything. We learn about the lord and everything he’s done for us and how he’s died for our sins. It’s a beautiful thing to learn.”

Although the program is centered around Fairley High School, the goal is to expand into the Whitehaven community.

“We want to be able to introduce it to other students,” Randle said. “We want to introduce it to other youth in the community. Because whatever we can do to expand this community, Whitehaven community, the surrounding communities as well, that’s what we are here to do. This is something they can do to release that and it’s not on each other but it’s on a bag. Then that keeps down some of the disciplinary issues that they would have.”

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