PINE BLUFF, Ark.-Aspire to inspire that’s the goal for a pine bluff boxing program.
The goal at Gloves Not Guns is to keep kids in Pine Bluff away from the violence.
Now the gym is hoping to bring more girls into the ring.
Charday Early was Arkansas’ first African-American female boxer. She boxed in the ’70s at Pine Bluff High School.
Charday was very athletic and wanted to do something different when she was growing up.
She picked up a pair of boxing gloves and made history in Arkansas.
Over the years, a lot has changed with the sport and she wants to show other girls can do it too.
Darrion White is a member of the Gloves Not Guns program. He’s nine years old and says boxing helped keep him out of trouble.
It’s all about hard work and dedication for kids in the Gloves Not Guns Boxing Program in Pine Bluff.
“A lot of little boys and girls are making a difference,” Early said.
Charday Early is one of the coaches and Pine Bluff’s first African American female Boxer.
“That makes me feel proud and honored. I’ve always liked sports and contact so it wasn’t any gloves around at that time in 78 and 79,” she said.
Now she’s using that same passion and training to encourage girls to pick up a pair of gloves.
“Just showing them that they can get in the ring with the boys and show their talent and see what they can do,” she said.
Director Albert Brewer created Gloves Not Guns to keep kids out of trouble.
“I started in a local church and from there it’s been success after success,” Albert Brewer said.
The success already rubbed off on 9-year-old Darrion White.
“It keeps me out trouble and being in the streets and keeps you from getting shot at,” Darrion said.
He’s the first kids from Pine Bluff to win the Silver Glove Boxing Competition in Independence, Missouri.
“It was good and I felt good when I first got in the ring. I jabbed first then I did a one-two then I got him in the corner then I did a jab again and he had fell,” he said.
The Gloves Not Guns program is a work in progress.
“One female at a time one boy at a time so I’m here to make a difference,” she said.
Over the next few months, members will go through vigorous training at Southeast Middle School in Pine Bluff until renovations are complete at the Merell Community Center.
Darrion says he wants to be a professional boxer when he grows up.