I have been involved in amateur boxing for over three years as a judge, board member of both the California Golden Gloves and USA/Amateur Boxing Federation, Southern California Assn. and as an adult who cares deeply about today’s youth.
I have watched Martin Noriega do wonders with the young people who train under him at the La Colonia Boxing Club in Oxnard. He has produced many Junior Olympic champions (ages 10-15) and many Southern California champions, 16 and over. It has always been a pleasure to see Martin arrive at a show, followed by a troop of kids who, when in the ring, boxed their best or, if not in competition, rooted on the other members of their team.
Recently, however, it has become questionable whether or not the city of Oxnard could continue to fund the La Colonia Boxing Club. I say that the city cannot afford not to continue La Colonia’s funding. Why take away a positive force in the lives of our young people and replace it with the streets, gangs, boredom, lack of discipline and direction. Amateur boxing provides an alternative to the streets, a setting in which to learn self esteem and discipline. It also offers the chance to travel and see other areas throughout the United States, to meet other young people and to be able to know that there is somewhere other than one’s own neighborhood.
I sincerely hope that the La Colonia Boxing Club is allowed to continue its valuable work in the La Colonia barrio of Oxnard. Our children are our most precious asset and our hope for the future. Let’s give them the best foundation we can to grow upon. Anything positive we can do to combat drugs and gangs is worth funding.