Skip to main content

Professional Boxer Opens Personal Gym For Training Session With Adults With Special Needs

SAGINAW, Mich. (WNEM) — A professional boxer has opened up his personal gym for a special session with a nonprofit that provides opportunities for adults with special needs.

“We are always looking for unique opportunities to do different activities throughout the week and we especially try to keep our group active,” said Xceptional Heroes co-founder Jennifer Silverton.

The Xceptional heroes dribbled and fought their way into an afternoon of wholesome fun with pro-boxer and Flint native Anthony Dirrell.

Dirrell opened his personal gym “The Dog House” for a special conditioning session to help band members integrate exercise and a healthy lifestyle into their lives.

“Always conditioned, always being active, always making new friends,” Dirrell said. “That’s the main thing – making new friends and being happy with what you’re doing.”

Xceptional Heroes is a nonprofit organization that provides social, recreational, and life skills opportunities for adults living with cognitive and intellectual disabilities in Genesee County.

Silverton said events like these help attendees become more independent.

“Seeing more and more independence blossom, blossoming and I see them stepping away from their caregivers and being comfortable doing it, engaging with the other heroes,” Silverton said.

The independence that Dirrell says will help them make new friends and maybe for life.

“You never know where that new friend can take you to a new friend who could be your best friend when they, when the hard times come,” Dirrell said. “And that’s the main thing, just making new friends.”

Dirrell said he also has a stake in helping them have healthy fun.

“Just watch them smile, just watch them happy, watch them have fun,” Dirrell said. That’s what I get out of love, love. You know when kids are working together and having fun.

Xceptional Heroes hosts events three to five times a week.

If you would like to learn more about Xceptional Heroes or become a volunteer, residents can click here.