INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. — There is a haven for people who want to create positive outcomes in their lives, and it's located in an upper room at the Barnes United Methodist Church on the city's near northwest side. Patrick Hutchinson owns the gym, and he trains and mentors 35 students.
The club is called Badd Boyz Boxing Inc., and it is changing the lives of people, many at-risk, who could easily give into addiction or violence. Instead, they are learning the sport of boxing.
"It brings the kids off the streets, gives them something to do, makes them think about their lives," Hutchinson said.
Hutchinson said he welcomes anyone ages 8 and older to join the gym, but he said there are strings attached.
"They know my rules," Hutchinson said. "You want to be a part of my team, you gotta show me some positive stuff. You gotta come up here, work harder, earn your way up here."
The gym has a fee of $150 annually plus $40 per month for a membership. Hutchinson said that cost allows them to travel and compete.
"If they can't afford it, I just don't throw them out," Hutchinson said. "I work with them, I'll find you something to do."
The gym is open six days a week. Monday through Friday it's open from 6 p.m. until 9 p.m. and Saturday from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. Derek Ahkoi helps Hutchinson train the team. He said people should not consider boxing a violent sport.
"People think it's about anger; you can't box if you're angry," Ahkoi said. "I can't always react to the first thing that comes for me and get scared. I have to look at the difficult things that are coming towards me and just be ready to brace myself for them."
Hutchinson said he is proud of the difference the gym makes for the students. He told FOX59 some beat all odds by going to college, and some enlisted in the military. He said some children come in with serious anger issues, but that does not last.
"Bring yourself to a better world," Hutchinson said. "There's something else to live for. If you've got that much anger inside you, bring it up to the gym. If you want to get your anger out, I got a gym, I got gloves, come in here and take it out."
If you are interested in learning more, visit Badd Boyz Boxing Inc's Facebook page.