(COLORADO SPRINGS) — A Colorado-based charity organization is paving the way for youth boxing programs and Olympic success through grant money.
On Wednesday, May 31, Colorado Springs Mayor John Suthers joined charity executives with the Daniels Fund, at the U.S. Olympic & Paralympic Training Center to present $800,000 to support USA Boxing.
This is a two-year grant, with the mission of encouraging youth development through sports.
“Supporting young people in pursuing their dreams and learning perseverance, grit, teamwork, self-worth, responsibility, and hard work. Those are all things Bill Daniels believed in, we believe in,” said Hannah Skandera, the CEO & president of the Daniels Fund.
The Daniels Fund provided this grant to support the elite athletes training for the 2024 Paris Olympics and also to give an opportunity to the next generation of boxers.
“We’re very proud of the fact that we run the gamut from our young athletes just getting involved in sport and learning… to also helping prepare elite athletes to perform on the biggest stage in the world,” said Mayor John Suthers, who has been the chairman for the Daniels Fund for the past eight years, and was just re-elected chairman for another four.
Olympic trainees think back to the lack of funding the sport had when it first started.
“I would go to tournaments or I would go to fights and there would be, no girls… So now going to these tournaments and then just seeing all the females in all weight classes, you know, they’re like stacked, it’s just really amazing to see,” said Team USA Boxer, Jajaira Gonzalez.
This grant from the Daniels Fund is the largest grant ever presented to USA Boxing.
“The Daniels Fund is committed to seeing young people have opportunities they wouldn’t normally have,” said Skandera.
With more youth entering the sport, professionals want to make sure they are setting an example for their successors.
“I just feel like I can’t let them down, you know? They’re looking up to me, and not only do I have to be good at boxing, I have to be a good person outside the ring as well,” said Gonzalez.