Tag Archives: gym

Superstar in the making: Ridgewood boxer headed to Olympic trials


| agiudice@ridgewoodtimes.com

Photos by Anthony Giudice

After hard work, dedication and an outpouring of community support, Ridgewood‘s Mathew Gonzalez will be flying to Colorado this June to compete in the Olympic trials in boxing for Team USA.

Gonzalez’s love of boxing began at just 5 years old, when he would watch and learn the sport from his older brother. At age 8, Gonzalez stepped into a boxing ring for the very first time, and by the age of 10, he knew that boxing was what he wanted to do.

“At 11, I started competing,” Gonzalez said. “I started following in [my brother’s] footsteps. He was already doing it big, at a national level and I just followed his footsteps and it took me here.”

Gonzalez has had an impressive amateur career thus far, winning the Junior Golden Gloves Nationals in Las Vegas and the Ringside World Championships in Kansas City, among other titles and awards. But he had to step away from boxing to focus on graduating from Grover Cleveland High School.

“My favorite achievement is coming back to the sport that I belong [in], coming back to the sport that I love even though I have not been actively competing and still having the support from all my fans and family is just great,” he said.

During his hiatus from boxing, Gonzalez joined International Boxing & Fitness gym, located at 953C Cypress Ave. in Ridgewood, and has been training and volunteering there during his free time. He trains six to seven hours a day as well as training and helping the youth teams develop and hone their skills.

Since joining the gym, Gonzalez has trained and worked hard to become an elite fighter in his age and weight bracket. At only 20, he is “very talented and a force to be reckoned with,” according to Jenny Badillo, co-owner of International Boxing & Fitness gym.

“Everyone knows Mathew from his Junior Olympic credentials,” Badillo said. “When he came to our gym, I knew he needed the support of a comfortable gym to come to. We were more than willing to give it to him because we know he is very, very talented.”

The support Gonzalez received from those at the gym has led to a very close relationship between the boxer and the members of International Boxing & Fitness.

“The gym here is like a family,” Gonzalez said.

That family recently joined together to support Gonzalez and his boxing dreams. Through a GoFundMe page set up by Badillo, members of the gym and parents of the kids Gonzalez helps train have donated the funds needed to send Gonzalez to Colorado Springs to participate in the Olympic trails this June.

“It means a lot to me to display my skills on a national level, and [fighting] the best the USA has to offer is amazing,” Gonzalez said. “It’s a great feeling, being that I know I have support behind me and it’s just makes you want to work harder each and every day.”

If Gonzalez makes it past the opening round of trials in Colorado Springs in June, there will be a second round of trials in the fall which he hopes to be able to attend, and with the support of his local boxing gym and community, his dreams could become a reality.

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John Bowne HS renames gym for beloved retiring phys ed teacher


| lguerre@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photos by Liam La Guerre


A long-time John Bowne High School physical education teacher is hanging up his whistle and putting away his gym shorts.

Chris Englisis, who has been teaching in New York City high schools for more than 32 years, is retiring after this academic year, and the school honored him in a ceremony on Tuesday by naming its gym the Christopher Englisis Strength Conditioning and Fitness Center.

Englisis, 58, is known throughout the school by students and faculty members for fundraising to pay for new equipment for the school gym. Over 15 years, the veteran teacher raised more than $180,000 for equipment, which includes donations from the New York Sports Club.

“He just wanted to provide for the school,” senior Andrei Grant said. “As a teacher, he’s great. He’s hilarious, too. It’s kind of sad to see him leave. It sucks that everyone else won’t be able to take his classes.”

Englisis has been teaching at John Bowne since 1997. Before that he was a football coach and physical education teacher at various city schools around Brooklyn and Queens. Some of his former students have become professional NFL players and wrestlers, including former WWE superstar Tazz.

Because of his background, when he landed in John Bowne he founded the school’s annual after-school fitness and weight lifting competition so kids would be motivated to work out and rewarded for their hard work.

But the Flushing school only had a few old and worn workout machines. So after the first competition, Englisis treated the gym as his “baby,” selling pretzel snacks, water and shirts in the school, year after year to pay for new workout equipment. He even mopped and vacuumed the room himself after school.

Today, the gym is packed with about 55 workout machines and looks like a mini New York Sports Club.

“It’s a blessing for the kids and for him,” said Englisis’ brother John. “For him to give himself so they can benefit is phenomenal. And this is an ongoing thing that will benefit all these kids this year, next year and years after that.”

The remaining physical education teachers promised to continue the annual competition and fundraise for new equipment when necessary. Students and faculty are sorry to see him go, but Englisis believes that he’s done all he can for the school.

“There’s nothing more to do. This is the time to go,” Englisis said. “It’s kind of hard to give it up to somebody else, but you’ve got to know when to stop.”

 

 

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Queens’ Morning Roundup – 11/21/2011: NYC Man Arrested For Plotting To Kill U.S. Servicemen In Name Of Al-Qaeda


| jlane@queenscourier.com

Graphic by Jay Lane

NYC Man Arrested For Plotting To Kill U.S. Servicemen In Name Of Al-Qaeda

A Dominican Republic native living in Washington Heights is under arrest for conspiring to build a bomb for terror purposes and possessing a weapon with the intent of waging a campaign of violence in the name of al-Qaeda, New York City authorities announced Sunday night. Jose Pimentel, 27, was arrested by New York City police on Saturday. Investigators say Pimentel had also planned to use a bomb to kill U.S. military personnel returning from active duty in Iraq and Afghanistan. He had also allegedly expressed a desire to bomb police patrol cars and postal facilities. Read More: NY1

 

Queens Driver Charged With DWI

A Queens driver is facing multiple charges including driving while intoxicated in connection with a Saturday crash on the Long Island Expressway. Police say 37-year-old John Gilette was driving a Jeep Wrangler onto the expressway Saturday morning near the 48th Street ramp in Maspeth when he swerved into a tractor trailer. Gilette’s car hit the right side cabin of the trailer before hitting a wall. Read More: NY1

Brawl chaos at Astoria club

A Queens nightclub was the scene of a bizarre string of violence that left four men injured early yesterday, authorities said. Several thugs first jumped a 23-year-old man at Amnesia on Steinway Street in Astoria, slashing his back, at about 4:15 a.m., cops said. As the thugs ran out of the hot spot, other clubgoers fled, too, authorities said. One of the alleged attackers, Orlando Santos, 18, was running when a car — not believed to be connected to the fight — struck him, dislocating his hip. Read More: New York Post

Former Mayor Giuliani Pushes For More Nuclear Energy Use In Astoria Forum

The Queens Chamber of Commerce hosted a forum in Astoria Friday with experts and former Mayor Rudolph Giuliani, the keynote speaker, to discuss possibilities for clean and sustainable energy use, as the Bloomberg administration estimates the city will have one million more people by 2030. Watch the Video: NY1

Parents rip NYC schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott over ‘chaos’ at Queens high school

 

A Queens high school where the daughter of city schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott teaches gym is so disorganized that many students don’t know where their classes are or when they start. Some kids at Metropolitan High School in Forest Hills have gotten 10 different class schedules in 11 weeks of instruction, angry parents say. But this is all news to Walcott, because he refuses to talk shop with his daughter. Read More: Daily News