Personality: Elwood ‘Coach Pat’ Patterson Jr.
Spotlight on co-founder of the East End Boxing Club
10/14/2021, 6 p.m.
Everyone needs an emotional outlet to cool off, unwind or clear their head of life’s troubles.
For Richmond youths, the East End Boxing Club offers a unique way to re-center their minds and improve their bodies, courtesy of Elwood Patterson Jr.
Elwood Patterson Jr., known as “Coach Pat,” is the co-founder with his 26-year-old son, Malik Patterson, of the East End Boxing Club.
The club, which is located in a gym on Charles City Circle off Laburnum Avenue in Eastern Henrico, “is dedicated to providing a safe haven for physical training and mental conditioning that will lay the foundation for critical life skills that are practical beyond the immediate scope of boxing,” Mr. Patterson says.
“Our purpose is to provide a framework for continual personal growth for the athletes who develop their boxing skills at the EEBC.”
Physical activity is just one aspect of Mr. Patterson’s operation, with club members able to not just improve their skills and health in the ring, but their mental and emotional well-being, too, through gym-based programs such as Therapy Unleashed and Total Body Nutrition.
Youths who take part in the programs ultimately develop skills fit for boxing matches, learn how to manage their anxiety and anger, build healthy coping skills and self-awareness and much more.
Mr. Patterson wears many hats. He is a mentor and director of services with Faith in Your Future Mentoring and Truancy and a co-founder with his son and director of the East End Youth Athletic Association, the umbrella group for several athletic programs in Central Virginia, including the East End Tigers Football & Cheering, East End Lightning Track & Field and ACC Youth Basketball.
These groups all serve the community through physical activity.
Mr. Patterson sees the work of East End Boxing Club as offering critical life lessons that apply both in and out of the ring: “You get what you put in.”
“During fights, it will be revealed who really put the critical, hard work in and who just did enough to get by,” Mr. Patterson says. “The same is true for life.”
On Saturday, Oct. 16, the East End Boxing Club is holding its 3rd Annual Gloves Over Guns program at 1 p.m. at Armstrong High School, 2300 Cool Lane, to uplift young people and find solutions to ending gun violence.
The program will feature several guest speakers and special guests, followed by several boxing matches featuring members of the East End Boxing Club.
“Youth gun violence is an epidemic in our communities and impacts every jurisdiction,” Mr. Patterson says. “We’re committed to helping youths find healthy coping skills.”
Meet an important influence in the lives of area young people and this week’s Personality, Elwood “Coach Pat” Patterson Jr.:
Date and place of birth: Oct. 4 in Richmond.
Where I live now: Varina.
Education: Henrico High School graduate, 1989; attended Lenoir Community College and Reynolds Community College, majoring in business.
Family: Wife, Cheryl Patter- son; daughter, Cierra Person; and son, Malik Patterson.
Occupation: Co-founder with son, Malik Patterson, of East End Boxing Club; director of services/mentor with Faith in Your Future Mentoring and Truancy; and co-founder with son, Malik Patterson, and director of East End Youth Athletic Association.
East End Boxing Club is: The home of boxing for the RVA with a family atmosphere.
Why East End Boxing Club is more than a gym: East End Boxing Club is a place where you can learn the sport of boxing, boxing cardio and other activities geared toward living a healthy life. We also have Total Body Nutrition (Herbalife), led by LaToya Rucker, inside the building that is open daily. We have Therapy Undefeated, led by Ticeses Teasley, in the building implementing behavior condi- tioning sessions and numerous other group sessions.
Mission: East End Boxing Club is dedicated to providing a safe haven for physical train- ing and mental conditioning that will lay the foundation for critical life skills that are practical beyond the immediate scope of boxing. Our purpose is to provide a framework for continual personal growth for the athletes who develop their boxing skills at the EEBC. We aspire to serve as a common source of inspiration for trainees of both genders that range from youth to adult who share our passion for competitive boxing and who believe that all adversity can be overcome through determination, perseverance and hard work.
When and why I quit my day job and started East End Boxing Club: My day job with mentoring is a collaboration with the boxing. So I don’t think I will ever quit what I’m doing. I love my work and the kids I serve.
Why the sport of boxing is a metaphor for life: Because you get what you put in. During matches, you will hear announcers say, “Now we see who really put the work in.” During fights, it will be revealed who really put the critical, hard work in and who just did enough to get by. The same is true for life. The time comes when you are in the metaphorical late rounds of life. It will soon be revealed if you put the hard work in or just enough to get by. Boxing is empowering on the physical level. Boxing gives clear evidence of results of hard work — in short, improved health, new skills, better conditioning and more confidence.
Boxing and therapy: We have a program in our gym called Therapy Undefeated that was created by Ticeses Teasley. Therapy Undefeated helps youths to develop skills to manage anxiety and anger, stress, build healthy coping skills, learn team building skills, establish a sense of belonging and build self-control and self-awareness.
Sayings from boxing that non-boxers are encouraged by: Sometimes you just have to roll with the punches.
What it takes to box: Self-determination, discipline and a great work ethic.
Why boxing is not just a contact sport: Life lessons, discipline, structure, self-control and self-awareness.
What Muhammad Ali taught the world: It is never too late to learn new things in life. Cham- pions aren’t made in gyms.
How boxing and mentoring work together: We have a fully established mentoring program called Faith in Your Future Mentoring and Truancy. We are mentoring our youths daily, teaching life lessons as well as connecting them with other community supports.
COVID-19 and boxing: Was a very difficult time for the gym. We had to close for three months. It was difficult for our kids to remain active during this time, especially our amateur team and pro boxers. The cleanliness of our gym was always top priority for us prior to the pandemic; it just increased more during the pandemic. Certain protocols had to be implemented before opening back up, such as, social distancing, temperature checks and mask wearing.
Ways boxing can help re-imagine Richmond: Boxing can give youths other alternatives rather than using a gun. Also, for the kids that envision a pro boxing career, it is making a platform for that to happen.
East End Boxing Club partners with: Boys and Girls Clubs, the Richmond Department of Social Services, the Henrico Department of Social Services, the Petersburg Department of Social Services, Nurturing Minds, the state Department of Juvenile Justice, Total Body Nutrition, the Building Constructive Communities Foundation, Richmond Juvenile Justice Services, Richmond Sheriff Antionette V. Irving and the Richmond Sheriff’s Office, Faith in Your Future Mentoring, Therapy Undefeated, East End Youth Athletic Association and sports medicine physician Dr. Kwadwo Owusu-Akyaw.
Upcoming events: 3rd Annual Gloves Over Guns, 1 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 16, at Armstrong High School, 2300 Cool Lane. There will be guest speakers from 1 to 2 p.m., followed by boxing matches at 2 p.m. Speakers include Richmond Sheriff Antionette V. Irving, Richmond Mayor Levar M. Stoney and the Rev. Tyrone Nelson, Varina District representative on the Henrico County Board of Supervisors. Families that have been impacted by area gun violence will be present in honor of their love ones. Special guests include professional boxer Jalil “Major” Hackett with Mayweather Promotions; his father and trainer Bernard Hackett; and his manager Derrick Curry, also a pro scout for Mayweather Promotions; legendary ring announcer Henry Jones; and Jerry Royster, owner of Cobra Boxing Academy.
Gloves Over Guns is: Youth gun violence is an epidemic in our communities and impacts every jurisdiction. We’re committed to helping youths find healthy coping skills. Gloves Over Guns gives youths the opportunity to learn conflict resolution inside the ring. Together, we can uplift young people in our region and find solutions to end gun violence.
How I start the day: Walk two to three miles daily and go over the list for the day.
A perfect day for me is: Not hearing anyone lost their life as the result of gun violence.
What I am learning about myself during the pandemic: I’m better than I thought I was at dealing with adversity.
Something I love to do that most people would never imagine: Playing Madden NFL and NBA 2K video games with the kids. I’m a true competitor.
Quote that I am inspired by: “Do what you got to do, so you can do what you want to do.”
Friends describe me as: A loyal, dedicated and caring person.
At the top of my “to-do” list: Provide for loved ones. Leave a legacy for my kids to carry out.
Best late-night snack: Chips.
Best thing my parents ever taught me: Get up early to get a jumpstart on the day.
Person who influenced me the most: My father, Elwood Patterson Sr.
Book that influenced me the most: “Alpha Male Bible” by Sean Wayne.
What I’m reading now: “The Art & Science of Respect: A memoir by James Prince.”
Next goal: Continue to work with the youths in our community with the mentoring and other community supports. Also continue to expand our sports programs — East End Boxing Club, East End Tigers Football and Cheering, East End Lightning Track and Field, ACC Youth Basketball. Also, working more on the management and promotional side of boxing. Continue to put on amateur boxing shows and in 2022 having professional boxing shows here in RVA. I want to continue build more gyms in Virginia and reach more youths with the mentoring programs.