Coach Reggie Barnett Sr. has been in boxing since the 60’s at the early age of 5 years old. Seasoned and a master in the sport, he has taken the responsible and unselfish step of passing on his knowledge and has established a place to nurture the skills of others with the desire to box. 757 Boxing has been opened since May of 2007. The gym is located at 5011 Cleveland St., in Virginia Beach, VA. There Coach Barnett instills the sport of boxing and so much more. Coach Barnett started boxing in 1965 at the Boys Club when he was a young boy living in Dallas, Texas. Then at age 13 he changed boxing clubs when his coach was no longer there. That’s when Barnett started to train at a club on the east side of Dallas with a new coach that was the former world champ. When I asked Coach Barnett what is most gratifying to him, I believe his emotional answer reflected his feelings for his own earlier years of finding a passion almost from sheer accident and his gratefulness for those that were there to nurture him along the way in the sport of boxing. He said, “The most gratifying thing to me from this is that I give back to the community.” The youngest age that the 757 Boxing club accepts is 6 year-olds at the gym. Currently the youngest there are ages 8 through 16 for the kids. Then there are the adults; which Coach Barnett said that there are a lot of military that have become members of the 757 Boxing club. “We do boxing and fitness. We also do a little bit of mixed martial arts. We teach the standup portion of it and wrestling and submission. We are one of the premier boxing clubs around here. I have about 12 or 13 juniors; which is the Junior Olympic Division. The others are my adult boxing team; which is probably about 12 of them too. I have a large boxing team.” The
age that the boxers can compete doesn’t start until they are eight years old. They can train when they are 6 or 7. The ones that go into competition only compete with others that are comparable in age and weight. Coach Barnett said, “I want to be able to teach the kids and adults the basics and then take them into what I call a different platform, once they’ve gotten past the basics; to raise their level of competition.” Some parents that are looking for an extracurricular activity for their child to be a part of may have hesitation or questions about the safety of the sport. I decided to raise this question. Coach Barnett talked to me truthfully about the extremeness of training in and competing in boxing. “Safety as far as amateur boxing is better than any other sport. When they come in and they’re competing, whether it’s sparring in the gym, they’re wearing all of the protection… the gloves, mouthpiece, headgear, and groin protector. We occasionally meet a couple bloody noses here or there, but nothing serious. If they’re in there sparring and one kid is a little stronger than the other one then we will not continue with them sparring with each other. We will actually take them out and put them with someone else that’s equal. We do mix the kids around in there because they are about close in age and is pretty much light weight. The tallest kid I have in the gym is an 11 year-old and he’s pretty small for his age… he’s 55lbs. I have an 8 year old who is the same weight as him, but the 11 year-old is like an inch taller than him. So safety is a big issue. If someone gets hit with a good punch then we stop it immediately; we don’t keep going. We make it fun. We don’t get in there and make it where it’s a necessity where you got to win at all cost; as long as we’re having fun we’re okay.”
Published on Dec 26, 2011
Once again, the end of the year is upon us. It seems as though the year just began a few weeks ago and as quickly as the year came in it’s o...