Let’s get ready to rumble — but hit the books first.
The Downtown Boxing Gym, a nationally recognized nonprofit, planned to unveil its new outdoor sports complex Tuesday evening featuring a multisport turf field, study pavilion, ice rink and fire pits aimed at creating opportunities for Detroit students all year.
“Our mission every day at DBG is to provide the tools and resources our students need to succeed,” said the gym’s founder and CEO, Khali Sweeney. “This newly renovated sports complex is game-changing. It will enhance everything we do.”
The complex — which is being underwritten through a grant from Dick’s Sporting Goods Foundation — is on the city’s east side at the corner of Meldrum Street and East Vernor Highway.
The gym is part of several nonprofits that support Detroit families.
Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan, along with representatives from the gym and Dick’s foundation, was expected to be on hand for the 7 p.m. reveal, and to kick off the gym’s annual fundraiser, the UnGala.
The gym aims to use the new complex to help more than 150 students — ages 8-18 — who are involved in its free after-school academic and athletic programs, which have had a 100% high school graduation rate since 2007.
The gym was featured on the national news in 2019.
NBC highlighted the gym’s formula for educating students: “Books before boxing,” and detailed how students are tutored, mentored and enrolled in enrichment courses for science, math, computer coding and engineering.
“We are extremely proud to partner with and support the Downtown Boxing Gym,” said Aimee Waters, executive director of foundation. “We believe that sports make people better and we’re excited to provide a space where kids of all ages can grow and develop their skills both inside and outside the ring.”
A multisport court was installed in 2020 with financial support from Rocket Community Fund, the Nike Community Impact Fund, and individual donors, along with an organic bowl lot through a grant from Detroit Future City.
DBG said it has worked for years to develop the outdoor space and purchased three adjacent vacant lots from the city of Detroit and the Detroit Land Bank to expand the outdoor area students can use for sports and other activities.
Contact Frank Witsil: 313-222-5022 or [email protected]