GREENFIELD, Calif. (KION-TV)- A lifetime of fighting for something positive in south Monterey County paid off Saturday for a local boxing coach when he had his grand opening.
After years of running a non-profit out of a garage, A.V.I.L.A Victory Boxing opened up a location in a building located at 36 4th Street in Building C.
Coach Rigo Avila, the owner and head coach of A.V.I.L.A Victory Boxing, says this is a dream come true.
"It's a dream come true. It's what I've been telling everyone," said Avila. "It's surreal. It hasn't sunk in yet. God sends his blessing, and it's still going."
Born and raised in Greenfield, Coach Avila wanted to give the kids, and people, of south county something positive. Something they could proudly call their own.
"I've been doing boxing for quite some time. I helped out a kid who was getting bullied in school, and then from there, it just progressed. Through word of mouth and parents, and before you know it, I had one, two, three, four, five, six kids. Now I have over 100 (students) registered.
He was also bullied and learned to defend himself with boxing. Coach Avila wanted to impart his knowledge to the next generation. To give them an outlet away from the streets.
"Growing up in small towns, it's really hard for some kids to grow up. There are not a lot of recreational programs out here, and we're trying to change that aspect. They can come here for hope. There is an opportunity for them to part away from the streets. So they can get a better meaning of life and carry on like a true fighter."
With 2,400 square feet and an outdoor area, Coach Avila is excited about the opportunity to extend his non-profit's reach further. Avila has opened his doors to allow anyone from Monterey County who wants to try their hand at boxing, regardless of skill level.
The gym is not just for children; although that's who Coach Avila initially pictured helping, there will also be lessons and classes available for any age range.
"This is completely possible through the community. Parents, siblings, uncles, aunts, and people who want to help out with this program. God bless them; through them, he works."
The feature his students are most excited about is an official-sized ring to practice in, something a garage didn't have room for.
You can click here to learn more about the program and how to sign up.