Boxing club offers youths purpose, grit and determination

Richard Steele has experienced it all in the world of boxing.

He fought professionally for seven years with a record of 16-4, including 12 knockouts. Then, for roughly 30 years, Steele was inside the ring, refereeing some of boxing’s legends, including Mike Tyson, Floyd Mayweather and Sugar Ray Leonard.

Recently, Steele was elected into the International Boxing Hall of Fame.

At 71, Steele continues to step inside the ring, but this time it’s with 8- to 18-year-olds and people battling Parkinson’s disease.

“Before boxing, I did lack confidence, and I never pushed myself,” Steele said. “Boxing taught me that you can make something out of your life. I wanted to give back to the community. That’s why I opened this club.”

Steele started the Richard Steele Boxing Club, 2475 W. Cheyenne Ave., No. 110, in 2004.

STEELE’S NEXT GENERATION OF YOUTH

It’s a place of sanctuary and hope for youths who are struggling with their grades, lack confidence or need a place to go after school.

“This community was in desperate need of something like this,” Steele said. “Not everyone in here wants to be a boxer, but there’s something in here for everyone.”

The club offers boxing fitness lessons, competitive team boxing, academic support and tutoring, youth leadership development, group health and awareness classes and community outreach.

There are typically 40 to 60 youths who use the gym every month, Steele said.

Additionally, parents can use the treadmills to work out while their children participate in the program.

Some of Steele’s former students have fought their way to the world title, which is what 14-year-old national champion Czarina McCoy is hoping to accomplish.

“I had anger problems before I came here, and I used to get in trouble at school a lot for it,” McCoy said. “I took classes here where I learned how to control my anger, and boxing helped me release that extra energy. My goal right now is to go to the 2020 Olympics.”

Taariq Muhammad, 16, said boxing has taught him to never quit and has kept him motivated in life.

“People have tried recruiting me into gangs or pressured me into drugs or to smoke. If I didn’t give in they’d say, ‘You ain’t the homie,’ ” Muhammad said. “Peer pressure is nothing now. I just want to focus on my future.”

The club also serves a late lunch, provided by the Culinary Academy of Las Vegas, at 4 p.m.

Homework help in math, science and social studies is available for a monthly fee of $25 and is taught by James H. Gamble, who has a bachelor’s degree in science, biology and civil engineering.

“I went from having an F in math to a B,” said Kylee Westphal, 11. “He’s really patient and helps me learn.”

Starting next month, Gamble plans to offer a 3-D design class at 4:30 p.m. Mondays and Wednesdays.

Steele said there are plans to create a scholarship program.

“A lot of kids open up to me,” Steele said. “Some kids were being bullied at school or pressured into doing things they didn’t want to do. Here we try to keep them on a straight path.”

Steele makes it a point to teach youths to say no to drugs, alcohol, tobacco and gangs.

Free HIV and STD testing is also offered at the club from noon to 5 p.m. Tuesdays. The testing is open to the public and run by the Southern Nevada Health District.

The monthly youth membership fee is $50 per child, or $65 for two children, $75 for three or $85 for four.

BATTLING PARKINSON’S DISEASE

In partnership with the Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health and Sun City Summerlin, the club hosts people who are battling Parkinson’s disease twice a week in a program called Rock Steady Boxing.

“Our boxers love it. They say boxing gives them new life,” Steele said. “Most of our boxers are between 60 to 80 years old. They never thought they’d get a chance to do something like this.”

Parkinson’s disease is a degenerative movement disorder that can cause deterioration of motor skills, balance, speech and sensory function.

Former Indiana prosecutor Scott C. Newman, who is living with Parkinson’s, founded the program in 2006.

After being diagnosed, Newman began intense, one-on-one boxing training and noticed dramatic improvement in his physical health, agility and daily functioning, according to the program’s website, rocksteadyboxing.org.

Specialized Rock Steady Boxing sessions are designed to use every part of the body, Steele said.

Classes are taught from 10:30 a.m. to noon Mondays and Wednesdays and are open to the public. The starting cost to join the program is $150 and a subsequent $100 each month.

Steele also has plans to help people with memory loss and Alzheimer’s disease.

“With boxing, you have to be the best you can,” Steele said. “Losing is painful, so you have to run that extra mile and push yourself.”

For more information, visit richardsteelefoundation.org or call 702-638-1308.

Contact North View reporter Sandy Lopez at slopez@viewnews.com or 702-383-4686. Find her on Twitter: @JournalismSandy.

News
Nature Conservancy Ranch
The Nature Conservancy just bought the 900-acre 7J Ranch at the headwaters of the Amargosa River, north of Beatty. The property could become a research station, though ranching will continue.
Swift water rescue at Durango Wash in Las Vegas
On Thursday, February 14, 2019, at approximately 8:42 a.m., the Clark County Fire Department responded to a report of a swift water incident where people were trapped in the Durango wash which is located near 8771 Halcon Ave. Personnel found one person who was trapped in the flood channel. The individual was transported to the hospital in stable condition. Video by Clark County Fire & Rescue.
Flooding at E Cheyenne in N. Las Vegas Blvd.
Quick Weather Around the Strip
Rain hits Las Vegas, but that doesn't stop people from heading out to the Strip. (Mat Luschek/Review-Journal)
Aaron Semas, professional bull rider, talks about his traumatic brain injuries
Aaron Semas, professional bull rider, talks about his traumatic brain injuries. The Cleveland Clinic will begin researching the brains of retired bull riders to understand the impact traumatic brain injuries have on cognition. (Bizuayehu Tesfaye/ Las Vegas Review-Journal) @bizutesfaye
Matt Stutzman shoots arrows with his feet
Matt Stutzman who was born without arms shoots arrows with his feet and hits the bullseye with remarkable accuracy. (Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @bizutesfaye
Secretary of Air Force Emphasizes the Importance of Nellis AFB
US Secretary of the Air Force Heather Wilson visited Nellis Air Force Base during Red Flag training and described how important the base is to the military.
Former Northwest Academy student speaks out
Tanner Reynolds, 13, with his mother Angela McDonald, speaks out on his experience as a former student of Northwest Academy in Amargosa Valley, which includes abuse by staff member Caleb Michael Hill. Hill, 29, was arrested Jan. 29 by the Nye County Sheriff’s Office on suspicion of child abuse.
Former Northwest Academy students speak out
Tristan Groom, 15, and his brother Jade Gaastra, 23, speak out on their experiences as former students of Northwest Academy in Amargosa Valley, which includes abuse by staff and excessive medication.
Disruption At Metro PD OIS Presser
A man claiming to be part of the press refused to leave a press conference at Metro police headquarters, Wednesday January 30, 2019. Officers were forced to physically remove the man. (Mat Luschek/Review-Journal)
Clients at Las Vegas’ Homeless Courtyard talk about their experience
Clients at Las Vegas’ Homeless Courtyard talk about their experience after the city began operating around the clock. (Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @bizutesfaye
Las Vegas parts ways with operator of homeless courtyard
Jocelyn Bluitt-Fisher discusses the transition between operators of the homeless courtyard in Las Vegas, Thursday Jan. 24, 2019.(Caroline Brehman/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Las Vegas police and Raiders partner with SafeNest
Las Vegas police and the Raiders partner with SafeNest on Project Safe 417 (the police code for domestic violence is 417). The program partners trained SafeNest volunteer advocates with Metropolitan Police Department officers dispatched to domestic violence calls, allowing advocates to provide immediate crisis advocacy to victims at the scene of those calls. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
North Las Vegas police chief discusses officer-involved shooting
North Las Vegas police chief Pamela Ojeda held a press conference Thursday, Jan. 24, regarding an officer-involved shooting that took place on Jan. 21. The incident resulted in the killing of suspect Horacio Ruiz-Rodriguez. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Volunteers gather for annual Clark County homeless count
Volunteers gather for the annual Southern Nevada Homeless Census, Tuesday, Jan. 22, 2019. (Chase Stevens/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Who can understand hospital price lists?
Lists of costs for procedures, drugs and devices are now posted the websites of hospitals to comply with a new federal rule designed to provide additional consumer transparency. Good luck figuring out what they mean.
People in Mesquite deal with a massive power outage
People in Mesquite respond to a major power outage in the area on Monday, Jan. 21, 2019. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Group helping stranded motorists during power outage
A group of Good Samaritans are offering free gas to people in need at the Glendale AM/PM, during a massive power outage near Mesquite on Monday, Jan. 21, 2019. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
U.S. Sen. Jacky Rosen falls at Las Vegas parade
U.S. Sen. Jacky Rosen of Nevada fell and injured her wrist at the Martin Luther King Day parade in Las Vegas on Monday, Jan. 21, 2019. (Nathan Asselin/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Local astronomers host super blood wolf moon viewing
The Las Vegas Astronomical Society paired with the College of Southern Nevada to host a lunar eclipse viewing Sunday night. Known as the super blood wolf moon, the astronomical event won't occur for another 18 years. (Rachel Aston/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @rookie__rae
Tate Elementary shows academic progress after categorical funding
Students at Tate Elementary in Las Vegas has benefited from a program to boost education funding in targeted student populations, known as categorical funding. One program called Zoom helps students who have fallen below grade level in reading. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
The third annual Women’s March in Las Vegas
The third annual Women’s March in Las Vegas. (Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @btesfaye
First former felon to work for Nevada Department of Corrections
After his father died, Michael Russell struggled for years with drug addiction. When he finally decided to change for good, he got sober and worked for years to help others. Now he is the first former felon to be hired by the Nevada Department of Corrections. (Rachel Aston/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @rookie__rae
Three Square helps TSA workers
Three Square Food Bank donated over 400 care bags to TSA workers affected by the government shutdown Wednesday, filled with food, personal hygiene products and water.
Las Vegas furniture store donates to Clark County firehouses
Walker Furniture donated new mattresses to all 30 Clark County firehouses in the Las Vegas Valley, starting today with Station 22. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Mount Charleston Gets Heavy Snow, Fog
Mount Charleston saw heavy snow today, and fog in lower elevations as a cold front swept across the Las Vegas Valley. (Benjamin Hager/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Krystal Whipple arrested in Arizona
Krystal Whipple, charged in the killing of a Las Vegas nail salon manager over a $35 manicure, is expected to return to Nevada to face a murder charge.
Holocaust survivor on acceptance
Holocaust survivor Celina Karp Biniaz, who was the youngest person on Schindler’s List, talks about the most important message for people to understand from her life and experiences.
Holocaust survivor speaks about telling her story
Holocaust survivor Celina Karp Biniaz, who was the youngest person on Schindler’s List, tells of opening up about her experiences during Sunday’s event at Temple Sinai.
Jesus Jara State of the Schools address
Clark County School District Superintendent Jesus Jara delivers his State of the Schools address on Friday, Jan. 11, 2019. (Amelia Pak-Harvey/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
ad-high_impact_4
TOP NEWS
News Headlines
Home Front Page Footer Listing
You May Like

You May Like