Training Champions

The 76-year-old owner of Glouster Athletic Club, Sam Jones, has been boxing since he was 8 years old. Jones got his passion for boxing from his father and turned it into a career he’s used as a way to motivate kids to stay off the streets and work hard in all aspects of their lives.

Glouster Athletic Club is the oldest athletic club in Athens County, opened in 1936 by Edwin Jones as a way for the coal miners to blow off steam after a long workday. But now the gym is a place of refuge for local children living in the area and a place for beginner, amateur and professional boxers to train.

“We teach three things here: be a champion in the ring, be a champion at school and be a champion in life,” says Sam Jones. “Now that the coal mines are closed, you have to stay in school and get a higher education to get a job.”