Elite Fitness 361 seeking sponsors for youth program

INGLESIDE, Texas — A non-profit organization in Ingleside is fighting to survive this economy so it can continue providing a free service for local children.

Elite Fitness 361 is a local gym that offers various training options, including boxing. Jordan Pinney started the business in 2014, however, the gym didn’t open in Ingleside until 2016. In 2020, Pinney applied for 501c3 status and became a registered non-profit.

Pinney has always offered free boxing lessons for youth. He said boxing changed his life and mindset when he was younger, so he hopes to continue sharing the skill to benefit children in the community.

“I was actually a troubled youth. I was in the juvenile system in Sinton, Texas and I was always on probation. My coach actually found me through that system, got me into the gym and it saved my life.” he said. “Once I became of age, I started working and I always thought I want to give back to the kids and bring kids up the same way I was brought up and give them a place they can stay away from the streets and stay out of trouble . A safe place.”

Pinney said boxing isn’t just a form of fighting, it teaches kids how to be disciplined with their schedule, diet, and training.

For 11-year-old Analee Valadez, every jab makes her feel empowered.

“When you touch gloves you gotta like put power in so you know, I’m the boss, I’m the leader of the ring.” she said.

She and her older brother Juan have been boxing at Elite Fitness for a couple of years. They have successfully competed at competition and hope to become professional athletes one day. The two said, boxing didn’t only shape their vision for the future. It also helped them find a release.

It worked. Like it worked for everything. Like, my angel. Like, when I have anger issues, it really helped with that.” Analee said.

“It’s taught me how to control myself in a lot of ways. Like at school, not getting mad at anybody that easily, just controlling my anger and stuff.” Juan added.

The rewarding outcome the owner of Elite Fitness has experienced and witnesses daily, motivates him to try to keep the free program running. However, he said keeping the doors open has been a struggle.

The gym owner has survived severe weather and the COVID-19 shutdown. Right now he’s battling the economy.

“The rent in this facility and the electric, it’s extremely expensive, and I carry all of it by myself right now,” he said.

Adult classes and gym memberships help the non-profit pay their bills, however, Pinney said rising costs are becoming overwhelming.

Elite Fitness 361 is looking for community partnerships. The partnership is a sponsorship which would help the coach continue training kids for free. They are looking for $100 donations or more from businesses.

Donors also get perks. For every $100 donated, they will get access to the 24 hour gym for five employees or family members. They also can get a banner put up in the facility to highlight the sponsor and promote their business.

In addition, they are offering a vendor event once a month that can be set up for free. Video production could also be an option to help promote sponsor’s businesses. The goal is to find at least 50 small businesses to contribute.

Click here to become a sponsor. You can also call or text Pinney at (361) 453-8535. More information on Elite Fitness 361 can be found by visiting their Facebook page.

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