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Pittsburgh-area boxing gym helping to provide support, empower young adults with Down syndrome

Punch after punch, the owners, employees and volunteers at a Pittsburgh-area boxing gym are helping to provide the support to empower young adults with Down syndrome. Watch the full story in the video player above. Pittsburgh’s Action News 4 was allowed inside the first boxing class being offered to neighbors with Down syndrome. The fun fitness class is part of a national nonprofit organization called “Down to Box.” Justin Puharik is one of the young adults with Down syndrome punching their way through their first class at Fit 4 Boxing in Allison Park. “Boxing is great for agility, for balance, mind-muscle memory,” said Joyce Williams. Williams is the manager and boxing fitness trainer who was knocked out by the smiles and enthusiasm she sees from the young people with Down syndrome. “We’re here to help and we’re here to get them out of the house and break the monotony and do something fun. An see some friends so it’s a great feeling,” Williams said. Meredith Peterson is the executive director of the Down Syndrome Association of Pittsburgh. Her 14-year-old daughter Macey is among the boxers at Fit 4 Boxing. “One of the big parts of this program is help with coordination, help self-defense, overall independence. We want physical fitness just being able to be out being able to do things and just gain confidence,” Peterson said. The association is subsidizing the classes and providing scholarships so many young people can take part, jabbing and upper-cutting their way to a healthier lifestyle. “With Down syndrome, that’s another part of it too, low muscle tone. It’s hard to work out you know to get that heart rate high so they have a program like this where they can get out there and do some modified fitness, modified fitness it’s just a fantastic opportunity,” Peterson said. Fit 4 Boxing also works with women and men with Parkinson’s Disease, evaluating more than 500 patients over the past several years. They offer “Rock-Steady” classes four days a week in Murrysville and five days a week in Allison Park for people with Parkinson’s Disease.

Punch after punch, the owners, employees and volunteers at a Pittsburgh-area boxing gym are helping to provide the support to empower young adults with Down syndrome.

Watch the full story in the video player above.

Pittsburgh’s Action News 4 was allowed inside the first boxing class being offered to neighbors with Down syndrome. The fun fitness class is part of a national nonprofit organization called “Down to Box.”

Justin Puharik is one of the young adults with Down syndrome punching their way through their first class at Fit 4 Boxing in Allison Park.

“Boxing is great for agility, for balance, mind-muscle memory,” said Joyce Williams.

Williams is the manager and boxing fitness trainer who was knocked out by the smiles and enthusiasm she sees from the young people with Down syndrome.

“We’re here to help and we’re here to get them out of the house and break the monotony and do something fun. An see some friends so it’s a great feeling,” Williams said.

Meredith Peterson is the executive director of the Down Syndrome Association of Pittsburgh.

Her 14-year-old daughter Macey is among the boxers at Fit 4 Boxing.

“One of the big parts of this program is help with coordination, help self-defense, overall independence. We want physical fitness just being able to be out being able to do things and just gain confidence,” Peterson said.

The association is subsidizing the classes and providing scholarships so many young people can take part, jabbing and upper-cutting their way to a healthier lifestyle.

“With Down syndrome, that’s another part of it too, low muscle tone. It’s hard to work out you know to get that heart rate high so they have a program like this where they can get out there and do some modified fitness, modified fitness it’s just a fantastic opportunity,” Peterson said.

Fit 4 Boxing also works with women and men with Parkinson’s Disease, evaluating more than 500 patients over the past several years. They offer “Rock-Steady” classes four days a week in Murrysville and five days a week in Allison Park for people with Parkinson’s Disease.

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