INDIANAPOLIS – A local gym and its trainers are giving children opportunities to do something with their lives by working out and training with them.
The gym–Indy Boxing and Grappling–is located at 2926 E. Washington St. on the east side. There are 220 people who attend the gym, and of those, 190 are children.
“We provide boxing, grappling, and wrestling and the training (is) free for kids,” Patrick McPherson said, a member of the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department and owner of the gym. He coaches and trains people on his own time.
“If kids make a mistake, if kids have made a mistake, come in. We don’t judge. My thing is can we help you and if we can help you (than) we’re here for you,” McPherson said.
People of all ages go to Indy Boxing and Grappling and can take a variety of classes. There are people who pay for their wrestling program, but everything else is free. McPherson said they would never turn someone away who can’t afford to pay for their wrestling program.
“If you just want to train and you never want to compete, it’s a great form of discipline,” McPherson said.
Edwin Calderon is training to become an MMA fighter, but he also teaches classes to children.
“My dad always told me to be in the sport because the sport keeps you out of trouble from the place that I was raised up,” said Calderon, who grew up on the east side of Indianapolis.
“Actually, a lot of my friends they all (chose) the wrong path and I see them get in a lot of trouble ’cause they don’t do nothing,” Calderon said.
Calderon doesn’t want to see that happen to the children he teaches. He is focused and passionate about the sport.
“I picked to teach the little kids classes because I reflect a lot of how I was (on them),” Calderon said.
He would like to be a positive influence like his parents were to him.
“I want to make a big difference and I want them when they’re grown to say that ‘Edwin, he put me in the right path.'”