SARTONK Awards Annual Ali-King Essay Contest Winners

SARTONK Awards Annual Ali-King Essay Contest Winners

On 14 June 2014, SARTONK, together with the Gleason’s Gym community, recognized the winners of its Ali-King Award. The winners were selected based on their submitted essays, by a panel of four distinguished judges. Essay topics ranged from the autobiographical to comparative analyses of Muhammad Ali and Martin Luther King, Jr., after whom the contest is named.

This year’s Ali-King Award first place winner was Barbara Greely, a student at Monmouth University, who trains at Gleason’s Gym Jersey Shore. Tommy Martinez, a junior at Midwood High School came in second. He trains at Gleason’s Gym in Brooklyn. Taking third place was recent graduate of Kingsborough Community College, Erika Lombardi, who trains at Evolution Boxing in Brooklyn.

©SARTONK. Ali-King Award Winners with the SARTONK and Gleason's Gym Teams.
“The winning essays displayed depth, critical thinking, and lessons learned through personal experience. It was beautiful to witness the winners’ joy and pride,” commented Hasmig Tatiossian, SARTONK’s Director of Community Affairs. “We’ve seen that it takes great effort for young boxers to commit their thoughts to paper and submit them to be judged. The courage that our winners had to overcome this challenge, and to unveil their deeply personal stories through writing is exemplary,” she explained.

©SARTONK. Erika Lombardi making her speech after receiving SARTONK's Ali-King Award. To her right, Bruce Silverglade, owner of Gleason's Gym. Photo credit: Hasmig Tatiossian

Each of the winners received the exclusive Ali-King statue created by SARTONK, a book stipend ($500, $300, and $200), along with a certificate bearing the logos of the sponsors: WBA, WBO, IBF, IBO, Gleason’s Gym, NJ Boxing Hall of Fame, USA Boxing New Jersey, Global Boxing Gym, and Wu-Tang Brand. The first place winner will also have the opportunity to train and lunch with a former World Champion at Gleason’s Gym.

“Each year, these essays give us a fresh look at the importance, beauty and substance of boxing as human experience. We’re proud of our winners and look forward to their continued success in boxing and education,” expressed President of SARTONK, Edward S. Majian.

©SARTONK. Tommy Martinez making his speech after receiving SARTONK's Ali-King Award. To his right, Bruce Silverglade, owner of Gleason's Gym. Photo credit: Hasmig Tatiossian

The awards ceremony was held at the historic Gleason’s Gym, the oldest active boxing gym in the United States. Recipients expressed their gratitude for the opportunity, and were appropriately awarded inside the ring.

President of Gleason’s, Bruce Silverglade, who participated in the ceremony, had this to say: “This was an amazing contest and I am so pleased that two young boxers from Gleason’s Foundation were winners. This is proof that boxing can have a positive influence on those that need it most. Thank you SARTONK."

©SARTONK. Barbara Greely making her speech after receiving SARTONK's Ali-King Award. To her left, Bruce Silverglade, owner of Gleason's Gym and Ed Majian, President of SARTONK. Photo credit: Hasmig Tatiossian

This literacy promoting essay contest was open to 17-22 year old boxers living in the tri-state area. The essays were evaluated by boxing writer, Michael Woods; boxing world champion and New York City school teacher, Sonya Lamonakis; sports writer, Ryan Maquinana; and Political Science and Social Justice Professor, Anna J. Brown.

SARTONK extends its deepest gratitude to the judges and sponsors, especially Gleason's Gym and Bruce Silverglade, for hosting the ceremony.

To view the full album of the Ali-King Award Ceremony, click here: