AIKEN, S.C. (WJBF)– Amateur boxing is made up mostly of troubled inner city kids, but this month’s Giving Your Best winner shows them love and patience while teaching self-respect, respect for others, and discipline.
Brittany Hankinson is a teacher and mother of three by day … and a boxing coach by night.
“A lot of people look and think support is like money, you know monetary, but a lot of kids need words of encouragement.”
Just as you can’t put a price tag on the power of positive words, you can’t put a price tag on everything Brittany Hankinson does for kids in Aiken County.
She had her husband opened Hankinson Boxing Gym five years ago.
“We ended up putting our girls into boxing and then eventually getting into it ourselves.”
“Before the first bit of gym practice is done they have to have their homework done. We came in, we’ve done Bible studies together there, she’s prepared meals for kids, it’s an incredible mission they meet in our community here.”
Their slogan is gloves up guns down.
“Stopping violence . If you want to solve a problem, pick up gloves. If you’re having problems at home or at school, come to a boxing gym and take it out on the boxing bags instead of a person. We get a lot of reports saying they’re bad at home, bad at school and when they come here it’s like a turnaround. And we get good reports instead of bad reports so it makes us feel good because we feel like we’re doing our part as mentors.”
The president of Georgia Amateur Boxing, Yusef Shabazz, nominated Brittany, saying she has taken on a monumental task and is very successful by giving her time, love and patience.
Aiken Mayor Rick Osbon echoes those sentiments.
“It’s not about making them better boxers, it’s about making them better people. They teach them about life in here and I’m gonna tell you, Brittany and James do a fantastic job.”
“Hopefully, everyone graduates and goes to college. If not college, as long as they’re successful in life, we’re happy.”