News 12 this Morning
Thursday, June, 2019
Aiken, S.C. (WRDW/WAGT) -- A group of junior boxers have overcome a lot. Now, they are about to take on the biggest challenge yet, hitting the ring at the Junior Boxing Olympics.
The athletes train Monday through Friday, two hours a day, year round.
They are determined to bring the title home.
"I've done so much for it, I've trained when I had a headache, tired, all of that...so I have to win," explains junior boxer,Tyson Pitts.
So far, the blood, sweat, and tears have paid off because, this year Hankinson's gym has seven athletes competing in the Junior Olympics.
Two of their athletes are reigning champs.
James C. Hankinson, is the owner and coach of Hankinson's gym, he says he is beyond proud of his athletes.
"It's a blessing alone, now we just need all seven to bring those titles back to Aiken."
For the kids at Hankinson's gym, going to the Olympics is a dream come true but, the sport is teaching them much more than how to fight.
Four year athlete, Kendahl Brockington explains his transformation.
"It taught me discipline, it taught me that someone is going to be there for you, and there are other things to do besides be in the street getting in trouble."
Tyriona Hankinson also, sees the growth in herself.
"It helped me stay focused and stay committed to a sport," Hankinson has been expressing interest in boxing since she can remember but, she's been training with her coach and father, James for eight years.
They tell News 12 the change doesn't stop here, they are just getting better every day.
"I can learn from my loses with my mistakes and what I did wrong...and just how I lost. So I look back and I learn not to do that again," explains Brockington.
For anyone doubting these athletes, Tyson Pitts has a special message.
"I'm gonna win and I'm coming for it!"
The competition will be held in Madison, Wisconsin, June 22-3. Good luck to the athletes at Hankinson's gym! Hankinson's gym is a non-profit organization so, if you'd be willing to give donations to the gym or their athletes please contact James Hankinson at 803-634-7975.