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Local organizations curb violence through sports

Posted: 6:57 PM, Nov 16, 2018
Updated: 2018-11-17 00:57:13Z

Through the years, the motto at Ace Boxing has stayed the same, "It's better to sweat in our gym than bleed in the streets."

Thousands of underprivileged and at-risk youth have stepped into the ring at Del Porter Pavilion, athletes like Patrick Fay.

Fay said without the support of the gym, his life would have gone down a much different path. 

"I would have been in prison or dead," he said.

Ace Boxing is a non-profit organization started in 1960 by professional Native American boxer, Del Porter. The 501c3 provides free lessons, food and advice to young kids to keep them off the streets. 

"We bring kids in who are too energized and we make them tired so they can go home and are not on the streets later," said Luis Robles, Strength and Conditioning Coach. 

The facility is now run by Del Porter's son and operations Manager, Frank Porter. He said with the increase of violence across the city, it's important now more than ever to get kids off the streets.

According to Mother's Against Gun Violence, there have been 96 homicides in the City of Milwaukee. Of those killed 44 percent were between the ages of 14 to 29-years-old, 

"It saddens my heart every time we hear a young person got shot," said Porter. 

Porter's hope is that his gym can continue to save lives.

At Coggs William High School, there's another coach using sports to positively influence young people.

Coach Jerome Gray is part of a new program called "Coaching Boys into Men." After the Eagles practice, the athletes head upstairs to a classroom where they discuss how to build and sustain positive relationships with peers and females. 

"Guys might not know when they say certain things to males or females it can be hurtful or demeaning," said Gray. 

This is the first year the course has been implemented in the state of Wisconsin. So far 30 coaches are participating in the pilot program. 

According to Loveisrespect.org, nearly 1.5 million high school students experience physical abuse from a dating partner in a single year. 

The goal is to use the coaches positive influence on the athletes to facilitate respectful behavior and prevent abuse and sexual assault in the future. 

Both coaches are teaching different life lessons, but hoping the positive impact is the same.