Downtown Detroit Boxing Center Launches Outdoor Sports and Learning Complex


Downtown Boxing Gym on the east side of Detroit will unveil a new outdoor sports, learning and garden complex on Tuesday. // Courtesy of the downtown boxing center

The Downtown Boxing Gym on the East Side of Detroit, a non-profit organization offering a free, after-hours academic and athletic program to local students, will unveil a new outdoor sports complex on Tuesday. learning and garden.

The new space, located on three-quarters of an acre at E. Vernor Highway and Meldrum Street (located next to downtown Boxing Gym), includes a multi-sport playground, learning pavilion, ice rink, fire pits and Continued. Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan, DBG officials, DICK’S Sporting Goods executives and more will be on hand for the 7 p.m. reveal, followed by The UnGala, an annual fundraising event in support of DBG.

The outdoor complex will benefit over 150 students (ages 8-18) who participate in DBG’s free after-school academic and sports program, which includes an individualized style of tutoring and mentoring, a whole-child approach.

The project was made possible by a grant from the DICK’S Sporting Goods Foundation as part of its Sports Matter Community Grants program. The program benefits youth sports programs in low-income communities.

Since 2014, DICK’S and the DICK’S Foundation have committed over $ 189 million to support young athletes through its Sports Matter initiative to support youth sports teams, leagues and programs in local communities across the country.

“We are extremely proud to partner with and support the Downtown Boxing Gym. At the DICK’S Sporting Goods Foundation, we believe that sport makes people better and we are excited to provide a space where children of all ages can grow and develop their skills both inside and outside the ring. Said Aimee Waters, Executive Director of The DICK Sporting Goods Foundation.

The Downtown Boxing Gym has occupied its building on E. Vernor since 2015 and has worked for years to maximize the use of its outdoor space. In recent years, DBG has purchased three adjacent vacant lots from the City of Detroit and the Detroit Land Bank to expand the outdoor space used by students for sports sampling, art projects, science experiments, gardening, l ‘nature exploration, etc.

The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the urgent need for usable outdoor university and sports spaces. In 2020, a brand new multi-sport court was installed thanks to support from the Rocket Community Fund, Nike Community Impact Fund and individual donors, as well as an organic bocce court thanks to a grant from Detroit Future City.

“Our daily mission at DBG is to provide the tools and resources our students need to be successful. This recently renovated sports complex is a game-changer. It will improve everything we do, ”said Khali Sweeney, Founder and CEO of DBG. “For us, the hour of play that we spend with our students in a variety of activities, from boxing to flag football, opens the door to the mentorship, academics and life-changing programs we offer.

“We would like to thank DICK’S Sporting Goods and the DICK’S Sporting Goods Foundation for recognizing the need for this renovation and for investing in our students and their future.

The new outdoor sports complex includes:

  • A large multi-sport grass field
  • Lighting throughout the complex
  • Flag
  • Ice skating rink
  • Raised gardens
  • Two fireplaces with seats
  • DBG bus and van fleet parking
  • A shipping container for storage

Construction began in February 2021 and is still ongoing. The rest of the work, including the installation of the pavilion and the ice rink, is expected to be completed within the next few months. Premier Group Associates is leading the project.

Founded in 2007, the DBG program focuses on books before boxing and includes tutoring, mentoring, enrichment programs, college and career preparation, healthy meals, transportation, community service. and athletics.

Since the gymnasium opened, 100 percent of participating students have graduated from high school. DBG continues to support its graduate students until the age of 25 as they attend college or start a career.

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