The Belfast-Beltway Boxing Project is a Washington, D.C. based 501(c)3 non-profit organization dedicated to providing support for at-risk youth through cultural exchange and international athletic competition, with a focus on the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area and Belfast, Northern Ireland. The purpose of the Project is to offer an annual cultural and athletic exchange program, and to provide equipment donations to appropriate non-profit organizations which offer athletic and after-school programs for young adults.
Youth boxing clubs offer a tremendous value to the public at large and serve their communities well by providing an alternative to the streets and teaching young men and women important life lessons about discipline, dedication and the value of hard work. In supporting these groups, The Belfast-Beltway Boxing Project aims to provide positive experiences, opportunities, and hope to the young people in our cities and to benefit the public by supporting alternatives to becoming involved in crime and mischief, which is unfortunately a common route for many of these kids.
ANNUAL CULTURAL EXCHANGE PROGRAM
Youth in our communities face daunting challenges: crime, violence, and drugs are all too prevalent amongst young people. The Belfast-Beltway Boxing Project offers an annual athletic and cultural exchange program that bridges the gaps between cultures and provides a unique opportunity for children and teenagers, many of whom have never left their own neighborhoods, to develop self-respect and respect for others, expand their horizons, experience international athletic competition and learn about the lives of their peers in other cultures.
The Project’s annual program supports and invites a group of amateur youth boxers and their coaches from overseas to Washington, D.C. for six days during which the kids are introduced to and work side by side with a group of amateur boxers from clubs in the D.C. metropolitan area. All the participants train together in local gyms and partake in cultural excursions across the National Capitol Region. The program culminates with the Belfast-Beltway Boxing Classic, a supervised “fight night” between the two teams.
In January 2012, The Belfast-Beltway Boxing Project achieved a significant milestone when it took a team of youth boxers from Washington, D.C. and Maryland to Belfast, Northern Ireland. The boxers, coaches and staff, some of whom were traveling abroad for the first time, were exposed to a unique cultural and athletic experience in Belfast. Prior to the competing against a cross-community team of Belfast youths, the team was hosted by the Lord Mayor at City Hall and Ministers of the Northern Ireland Parliament at Stormont, and they also met with the U.S. Consul. They concluded their trip with a a spirited set of bouts against the Belfast team, which received coverage from local Belfast media and the BBC Northern Ireland. The D.C. Select team ranged in age from 11–22 years of age and was chosen by noted local boxing coach Tai-Rhan McBride.
FINANCIAL SUPPORT AND SPECIAL INITIATIVES
The Belfast-Beltway Boxing Project offers ongoing financial support to youth athletic organizations. Groups that offer amateur athletics and/or after-school programs for at-risk youth submit a “wish list” application of needed equipment, which, if approved by The Project, is then purchased and delivered to them.
The Project also provides support for kids who do not have the financial means to attend athletic camps and clinics in the summer recess. Our hope is that the young adults who participate in our program, and who benefit from the donations we make to local organizations, become more engaged, more open-minded and more informed members of our communities. With such objectives and outcomes in mind, we look forward to helping to create a positive impact on the future of our communities.
Board of Directors
Emmanuel Quinn (President)
William Tranghese (Vice President)
Michael O’Brien (Treasurer)
John Neal (Secretary)
Stephanie Quinn (Chair)