GGBA In The News
MORE THAN A COACH Greensboro News and Record August 21, 2004 Greensboro – There was a man on the corner of South Elm and Whittington Street Wednesday, offering to direct traffic to a drug dealer right on the block
And just across a weathered two-lane road, Michael Ancrum is life changing, guiding kids away from such temptations.
Ancrum, a life-long amateur athlete and stroke survivor, says he doesn’t just train boxing, but trains children through life.
“One, one, one, two,” Ancrum huffs as 8-year-old Taje Summers lashes out at Ancrum’s beloved hands with giant red boxing gloves.
Taje misses. Ancrum starts at “one” again, without sighing, or disappointment – just determination.
“It’s a good thing he does,” said Richard Rivers, who trains boxing at the Lindley Recreation Center on Springwood Drive, and whose son has competed in national amateur boxing competitions. “He cares.”
Ancrum, 45, a day-to-day high-pressure cleaner, has spent most of her life training sports at the Greensboro recreation center. Basketball and football are his first passions.
Two years ago, she suffered a minor stroke that left her body weeks, but was repairable. When he recovered from exercising at the Lindley Center, he learned to box.
Ancrum said he noticed that it was younger kids, “little guys,” who wanted to box without a coach.
With the center’s help, Ancrum started an amateur boxing program for children in 2001. As the program developed, his mind turned to home.
“I have to think about the kids on this side of town,” said Ancrum, referring to the southeast side of Greensboro. “They have transportation problems, other problems.”
Ancrum was raised in the Hampton Homes public housing community. As a child, Ancrum said he had support from Christian youth groups to introduce him to sports and activities. She knew there were children living at home now who had no youth groups, no way to travel to Lindley Center, and no one to tell them it was a good thing to do.
The Greensboro Kingdom Boxing Academy was born. The monthly rent is donated to a plain and vacant warehouse in South Elm called the home academy. Ancrum spent nearly eight months renovating the interior, including building its own boxing ring centers.
Ancrum supporters say he built the academy out of his dedication to helping children.
“I know him and I know his heart,” said Michael Thomas, pastor of the Fellowship Christian Church of Love & amp; Faith on Blackberry Road. “He loves kids. Mike has a desire to be a blessing to children, and he feels this is a way to give back to our community.”