Ring of Champions Society helps at-risk youths

By Lisa Stone - ReminderNews
Manchester - posted Wed., Sep. 11, 2013
Paul Cichon spars with Nicolas Person at the Ring of Champions Society gym in Manchester. Photos by Lisa Stone.
Paul Cichon spars with Nicolas Person at the Ring of Champions Society gym in Manchester. Photos by Lisa Stone.

The leaders of the Ring of Champions Society are dedicated to helping at-risk youths, and they believe that every kid deserves a chance to have a great life.

R.O.C.S. was co-founded by Kathleen Nicholas and Paul Cichon, and it has a mission to educate youths of the community in the sport of amateur boxing. Nicholas is the president of the organization and Cichon is the boxing director. They strive to teach discipline and respect through the sport of boxing.

Cichon was the director of the boxing division for the Manchester Police Activities League for 16 years. To date, he has had 16 national champions and several Ringside World Titles. Among his champions are Matt Remillard, who is the current WBC/USNBC Featherweight Champion, Miguel Ayala, Mellissa Roberts, Sean Palla and Mikey Williams. Williams holds three World Championships and two National Championships.

Life was not easy for Cichon growing up. He was an at-risk youth himself. That is what drives him to help other kids who are in the same situation that he was in. “I understand these kids. I want to help them find a way to be strong and proud of themselves while staying out of trouble,” said Cichon. “Not all kids have to be champions. They can just come and learn how to box and be a part of something.”

Erik Person, III, won the New York Regional Championship under Cichon’s watch.  Person took the Silver Gloves in that tournament. Person has been training with Cichon for almost three years now.

“When Paul wanted to start R.O.C.S., he came to me and asked if I would help with the remodeling of the building to get it ready for the kids,” said Erik Person, Jr. “I was happy to be a part of whatever he felt was necessary for the kids to have a safe and educational environment.” The remodeling was done by Cichon, Person, Dan Newmeyer and many of the kids that were going to be training under Cichon. “The youths take pride in their skills as well as where they practice,” said Person.

Each year, Cichon takes boxers all around the country for tournaments which are paid for with his own money. “Paul is very modest. He does so much for all the kids and pays for most of it himself. That is why donations would be so greatly appreciated. He shouldn’t have to pay for all these expenses himself. He just doesn’t want the kids to do without,” said Person.

Peni Diamond trained with Cichon during her 18th summer. She went on to do other things, but came back to him when he opened R.O.C.S. Now 25, she handles all of the administrative duties for the organization.

Joe Wilson runs the night classes for R.O.C.S. under Cichon’s supervision. Wilson boxes professionally for Cichon.

“We are so happy to have partnered with Manchester Family Dental this year,” said Cichon. “They are a great group of people and have the same concerns as R.O.C.S., so this should be a great partnership. They are helping us with the Fall Brawl event that is on November 16 at Nomads Adventure Quest in South Windsor. It will be a night of amateur boxing. That will be a great night. Admission is only $15.”

For more information on R.O.C.S. or to donate to the organization, e-mail Cichon at cichontko@aol.com, call 860-614-8877 or mail donations to R.O.C.S., 52 Main St., Manchester, CT 06040.

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