Old church in KCK converted into youth boxing gym

Bill Grady
January 08, 2019 - 7:26 am

ID 120347420 © Mark Dymchenko | Dreamstime.com


The vintage St. Mary's church building in Kansas City, Kansas has a new purpose, now that it has been outfitted with heavy bags and boxing rings.

The old structure at 5th and Ann is 128 years old, and it was vacant for a decade before it was converted into a boxing gym by the Police Athletic League. Religious figures in the stained glass windows look down at the young athletes.

The first evening of operation for the gym was Monday.

"When kids interract with police officers and they start seeing each other as people, good things happen," said Matt Tomasic, CEO of the KCK chapter of the Police Athletic League. "But also, police officers, it changes their perspective as well, I would think."

Tomasic says boxing is just the first step. He wants to add baseball and dance classes. Kids as young as eight can sign up, free of charge. 

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