Updated 03/26/2012 07:45 PM
Professional boxer trains with Wildwood Programs' students
A Colonie native creates a career for himself as a boxer. But the competitor is also using his talents to teach. YNN's Beth Croughan tells us about the impact he's had on students at one school in Schenectady.
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ALBANY, N.Y. -- Javy Martinez, 23, started training as a boxer as a teenager. The undefeated professional is now teaching teens himself.
"I want to be like Javy when I kind of grow up," said 15-year-old Jude Killar.
Killar is one of several students that participated in an adapted fitness boxing program. It's the newest sport being piloted by the Wildwood Programs' physical education staff. The school works with people with developmental disabilities.
"It's important for our guys to move, to get out there and to also experience the social interactions," explained Wildwood High School Physical Education Teacher Rachel McDermott.
Before meeting Martinez, the students had never even tried boxing before. But now, Wildwood staff said some have started coming back to the gym to train on their own time.
"That's what we're looking for. Where looking for this program, not just to teach them how to be boxers, but to live an enjoyable life where they can thrive. And not just survive, but truly thrive," said Javier Martinez.
The passion and the program has captured the interest of the Chair of the State's Athletic Commission, the woman responsible for overseeing boxing and wrestling throughout New York.
"Absolutely nothing's impossible. If you can hear that over in the background, you can understand that nothing's impossible. These children are, I get emotional when I think about what's going on here. I think it's fantastic," said Melvina Lathan, the Chair of the New York State Athletic Commission.
"What have you learned from them (the students)?," our reporter asked Javy.
"Never give up. Never give up on your dreams. Never say no, never say never. As cliché as it sounds, never say never."