PASADENA, Calif. (KABC) -- Twelve young boxers from the Villa Parke Boxing program in Pasadena got a very generous gift from local firefighters - new warmup suits.
"You know, it's a poor man's sport and having people to look up to us and give a donation like this, it means a lot," said Fatima Martinez, a heavyweight boxer with Villa Parke Boxing.
"It'll give me a lot of confidence before the fight," said Adriana Nunez, another boxer with Villa Parke Boxing. "It's amazing, it lets people know where we're from, where we come from."
The firefighters are a part of 809 Fight for Awareness, a non-profit owned and operated by active-duty Pasadena firefighters with the goal of addressing mental health within the first responder community. One way they do that is through boxing.
"Boxing is a fantastic sport, and it also builds a lot of mental health with the youth. It also builds a lot of confidence as they leave into the world," said Scott Henderson, Pasadena firefighter and president of 809 Fight for Awareness. "I think this is a huge thing that we need to keep up on and or youth is fantastic at doing it so we want to support them."
These boxers train every day, so they know how to roll with the punches, but the local firefighters want them to know they're supported. They hope that some may consider joining Pasadena fire in the future.
"It's not just boxers behind us," said Erik Hernandez, a firefighter with the Pasadena Fire Department. "It's the future of Pasadena Fire Department, and the fact that we can be a part of that, we're absolutely honored."
The pandemic has made training and competing difficult, but the fighters hope to be competing on a weekly basis soon.
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