Boxing team a knock out in Atlanta
By Sgt. Josh Higgins
| | April 23, 2004
Marines scored a knock-out recently when members of the Camp Lejeune, N.C., based All-Marine Boxing team made their “rounds” at three local schools.
Six of the Marine Corps’ finest glove slingers, along with their coach and former All-Marine boxer Robert W. Michael, performed boxing clinics at Meadowcreek, Jonesboro and Northview High Schools in an attempt to create awareness of sporting opportunities available in the Marine Corps.
“We wanted to show the students there is much more to the Marine Corps than what they see on television and in the news,” said Michael, a Camden, N.J., native. “Our hope was to help out with recruitment while enhancing the boxing program by displaying how hard we train.”
Michael opened each clinic by first describing what it takes to become a Marine and the benefits involved with the commitment, then proceeded to explain what it takes to become an All-Marine boxer. Afterward, the team demonstrated some of the techniques involved with boxing and some of the exercises they do to stay in shape, such as jumping rope.
“It’s important for these kids to know becoming a Marine is tough, but the rewards you receive after becoming a Marine make all of the hard work worth it,” he said.
Coach Michael called on volunteers to participate in the demonstrations to show some of the students first hand how tough the physical requirements are to be a Marine and an All-Marine boxer. The students jumped rope for two minutes, the same amount of time as one round in the ring, and were required to speed up when the coach blew his whistle. Other volunteers were allowed to put on 12-ounce gloves and perform two-minute combination's of punches on mitts held by the boxers.
“Hitting the mitts was fun, but very tiring,” said Adrian Mincu, a senior at Meadowcreek High School from Lilburn, Ga. “It is definitely not as easy as it looks.”
Sgt. Gregg Romero, the recruiter for Meadowcreek High School, said he enjoyed watching the students try to keep up with the boxers. Romero said he was very impressed with the demonstration and believes it will enhance his ability to find prospects in the school. He noted two appointments with prospects were scheduled right after the clinic.
“This gave the kids a different view of the Marine Corps,” said Romero, a radio operator from Suffield, Conn. “The best part about it was that a different view was coming from Marines near the students own age, since two of the boxers were still teenagers.”
Successful area canvassing is an important element of systematic recruiting. With two appointments scheduled by Romero and several quality leads for other recruiters, the clinics proved to be a beneficial asset.
“The clinics were very successful,” said Michael. “We knew coming out here we wouldn’t be able to touch all of the students, but if we got through to one or two of them maybe those individuals will spread good word about the Marine Corps.”