Selma’s hidden gym

Published 10:20 pm Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Last week, my visit to the Selma Boxing Club had an impact on how I view Selma.

It doesn’t look like much from the outside, but once I stepped in I was surprised by what coach Jon Murphy had inside the club.

Decent equipment, ample space and a full-size ring attached to the side of the building.

I have come across several of Selma’s hidden gems, but this was different. It was basically empty.

The pool table was covered up. The pile of boxing gloves sat on a counter mostly untouched. The bowflex and the weight equipment just sat idly as there were only three other people in the gym that day.

I had found another resource for kids, athletes and adults in Selma, but the club is struggling to remain open.

Murphy doesn’t even charge membership fees anymore with the hope that someone will at least so interest in the gym that he’s put so much of his time, effort and money into.

All year, I hear about how the kids in Selma have nothing to do and nowhere to go. But right on Hwy 14 is a fully functional gym with a coach willing to train and work with kids.

No. Selma doesn’t have all the resources of a big city, but the citizens aren’t doing themselves any favors if they don’t support the resources that are available to them.

Murphy has a decision to make at the end of the year as to whether or not to give the Selma Boxing Club another year.

Even though I felt sore after just watching the workout I saw him put two high school kids though, I want to give it a try. I’ve never put on a pair of boxing gloves in my life, and I’ll probably look foolish. But I can’t honestly tell people outside of Selma there is nothing to do when a brand-new experience is staring me in the face.

Selma has been a victim of people leaving the community to find opportunities elsewhere. The closed business outnumbers the open ones.

Selma has an opportunity to save one of its resources from becoming another abandoned building.

The gym isn’t hidden, but it will disappear if Selma doesn’t recognize the treasure it has.

Thomas Scott is the sports reporter for The Selma Times-Journal. He can be reached at thomas.scott@selmatimesjournal.com.