Some local kids got into the ring over the weekend, challenging each other in a boxing exhibition hosted by the Sheriff’s Activities League.
The bouts began this morning at the sheriff’s substation on Flower Street in East Bakersfield.
Sheriff Donny Youngblood and several deputies were on hand to oversee the matches. The sheriff says he hopes activities like this help to encourage kids in areas known for crime to seek a better life.
“This is the worst area probably in East Bakersfield, maybe in Bakersfield, for gang activity, and this sends a message to everybody, all the other kids out here, that it’s okay to come over here, it’s okay to not graffiti, and not be in gangs, and that’s really the message,” Youngblood said.
Although the matches can get a little rough, Youngblood says at the end of them, the kids come together as friends, learning the value of competition and camaraderie.