Coach Darrell “Smitty” Smith, boxing coach of inner-city Smitty’s Mid-West Boxing Gym/Youth Center, Inc., was chosen to work as one of only two regional USA Boxing Officials at the USA Boxing Nationals and Olympic Boxing Trials in Lafayette, Louisiana.
Smitty’s Gym is a Missouri and federal recognized non-profit charity run by a disabled U.S. Army Veteran. The gym focuses on getting disadvantaged area youth off the streets and into a structured program, with the goal of having them graduate high school and become good citizens, as well as potential Regional and National boxing champions. As Coach Smitty describes it: “We give our kids a safe place to go after school, where we teach them discipline, self-confidence, anger management, leadership, teamwork, and respect for themselves, parents, elders, peers, and society in general. They learn that it is okay to say NO to drugs, alcohol, gang activity, and doing the wrong thing. In return, we have kids who are dedicated and give their all to themselves and our program.”
Kids at the Gym have to maintain a B average in school to compete, and Thursdays are mandatory homework nights. Volunteer teachers are available to tutor those kids who need help.
Over the years, the Gym has sent kids to the military who now have great careers, helped develop high school, GED, and college graduates, and turned out national Golden Gloves Champions and Jr. Olympic Champions, some of whom have gone on to excellent professional careers.
Coach Smitty also runs clinics for people who want to participate and become USA Boxing Officials, and he is currently ranked 5th in the world as a Boxing Judge. In Coach Smitty’s own words: “I’m going for that #1 spot!!!”
The WBC, through one of its most prominent members, Jill Diamond, is supporting Darrell Smith and collaborating to make his program an example for coaches worldwide.