Staying in shape and ending obesity in youth and adults is the goal of local non-profit organization, Knockout Obesity.
On August 6, the charity launched the “KO Program” at Good Shepherd Services’ Miccio Cornerstone Community Center, 110 West Ninth Street. Around 60 children were joined by Knockout Obesity founder Dimitrios Verteouris and Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams for the inaugural event.
The day featured a discussion on how to stay fit along with several exercises. Children also tried on pairs of gloves to show off their fighting skills during a boxing class. The program continued through August and will re-launch at other centers in the fall.
“When my doctor told me I wouldn’t live past the age of 35, I knew I had to change my lifestyle immediately,” said Verteouris, who is also a restaurateur. “After losing 82 pounds in three months, I started Knockout Obesity to give others a healthier chance at life. It is a tremendous feeling to look out as the kids do jumping jacks, sit ups and boxing drills, and know we are leaving a footprint in Brooklyn.”
This past March, Brooklyn-born professional boxer Paulie Malignaggi made a $25,000 donation to Knockout Obesity. The sizable donation allowed the program to grow and host courses in physical education and nutrition for low income neighborhoods. A professional boxer teaches each class and boxing equipment is also donated to the community centers.
The Miccio Center is operated by Good Shepherd Services youth development program a family service agency with more than 80 programs that serve over 26,000 children, youth and families each year.