Richardson Hitchins, a student at Science Skills H.S., Downtown Brooklyn, recently competed in men’s boxing at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, representing Haiti.
He was one of 10 athletes and the only boxer to compete for Haiti and one of 32 total boxers to fight in the men’s light welter 64-kilogram division. He lost his match Aug. 10 to Gary Antuanne Russell of the U.S.
For the past six years, Hitchins, 18, has participated in the N.Y.C. Cops and Kids Boxing Club, which is run out of the basement of the Flatbush Gardens Housing Complex.
NYC Cops and Kids Boxing
The program was founded by retired NYPD Detective Pat Russo, a parishioner at St. Athanasius parish, Bensonhurst.
Each day after school, athletes ages 12 to 21 learn proper boxing techniques, self-defense, discipline and life values from active duty and retired police officers who serve as coaches.
“I didn’t care about nobody else; I used to think the world revolved around me,” Hitchins said in 2014 about his time prior to enrolling in the program.
“But now, I’m starting to see that you need people in life, especially the right people.”