Czech Republic: Boxing club gets boys and girls off the streets of excluded localities
Patrik Horváth, David Tokár and René Pokuta established the Boxing King Club in Ostrava a year and a half ago. They had no experience with managing a boxing club but put their minds to it and the outcomes their charges have achieved after a year of operations are motivating them to continue.
"It all began in 2013 when we brought our boys for the first time to a boxing training in what was then the Sokol Vítkovice gym. The boys really enjoyed boxing from their very first training and we basically enjoyed it too. After a couple of months of training our boys went into the ring and began to win in their categories, and it all culminated in their placing for the nationwide championship. Suddenly they were the champions of the country and a representative trainer also noticed them. Thanks to that they made it into the Czech national representation and have gone to international tournaments, for example, in Germany, Poland and Slovakia, from which they mostly brought back first or second-place results," says Horváth.
In 2016 the boxing section where the young boxers had been practicing closed, so the boys fathers' began to look for another club where the children could apply their boxing experience. Local clubs at the time could not accept them because they were full, however.
"The chair of the North Moravian boxing area proposed that we establish our own club and train the boys ourselves. Thanks to support from community workers Irena Štulíková and Růžena Dunková, working as part of a project run by the Moravian-Silesian Regional Authority, 'Support for community work in the Moravian-Silesian Region', we established the club in the autumn and called it Boxing King Club," says Horváth, who is the main trainer.
During their first year of operations the club managed to achieve several successes. Thanks to local support their charges were able, for example, to participate in the national boxing championship, where Marek Horváth took silver and Robin Tokár won the gold medal.
Most of the activities are being financed by the members from their own resources, but the boxers are hoping that somebody in the neighborhood will notice that their activity is meaningful and will aid them with staying in operation. Currently there is a crowdsourcing call on the HitHit.cz website where people can support the boxing club with contributions.
"We are doing our best to attract as many boys and girls to the gym as possible so they won't spend their time in bad company. We grew up in socially excluded localities ourselves and we are aware of the temptations that exist here for children and youth," Horváth explains.
In that regard the club is doing very well, with up to 30 children attending the gym. "The newcomers to our club have already completed their first competitions, they acquitted themselves honorably and are enthusiastic to train further," Horváth said.
- Romani boxer represents Czech Republic, takes bronze in European Junior Championship
- UK Boxing Board of Control suspends Tyson Fury's license, Romani boxer relinquishes remaining titles to get sober
- Tyson Fury, boxer with Romani roots, defeats Klitschko to become world champion
- Germany: Romani heritage boxer Tyson Fury will fight the legendary Klitschko on Saturday
- Czech Republic: Boxing club offers Roma a new start
- Boxer Tyson Fury, proud of his Irish Traveller origin, has challenged Wladimir Klitschko
- Czech film festival awards film about Romani boxer
- Domenico "Volcano" Spada: The boxer who fights under the Roma flag
- Saunders gives British boxing team a boost
- Gypsy Boxer Is Aiming For Olympic Glory
- Czech towns hire Romani community members as police assistants
- Slovak football tournament brings together diplomats, Roma and politicians for the fifth time
- VIDEO: Kickbox champ of Czech Republic wins again, celebrates with the Romani flag
- Romani athlete Dominik Oračko of the Czech Republic wins two gold medals and one silver at the Youth World Weightlifting Championships
- Czech MP with extreme-right group is evicting Roma onto the street
- Romani girl who won race in Slovakia while running in flats keeps on winning
- Czech Govt will not draft social housing law or anti-poverty measures
- Czech Govt Agency for Social Inclusion distances itself from group led by candidate for party using racist slogan
- Romani kickbox champ of Czech Republic celebrates victory at Muay-Thai evening in Slovakia with Romani flag around his shoulders
- Czech and Romani-Slovak rappers box each other in front of sold-out arena in Prague
- Czech Govt Agency for Social Inclusion introduces itself to Romani coordinators in South Moravia
- Czech Republic: Realtor tells tenants they'd better not be on welfare