By Patrick Dillon @PDillon_SGN
LINDSAY– The town of Lindsay is getting its own boxing gym. Nestor Varela, who came to Lindsay 15 years ago to set up a club, is leaving his partnership with McDermont to open his own gym.
At the Lindsay City Council meeting on June 11, the council voted 5-0 to approve a conditional use permit for Varela to open up his own gym. According to Varela, and his sons, Sergio Varela, Ivan Varela, and Nestor Varela II, the gym will be geared toward helping the youth of Lindsay.
“A lot of families don’t have the money to get into McDermont, so we want to have more ability to help them,” Nestor Sr. said.
The gym is set to be located in the town’s central commercial district at 232 N. Mirage Ave. According to Lindsay City Manager Bill Zigler, the council approved that existing buildings can be turned into gyms as long as there is an accompanying conditional use permit.
The installment of a the gym already has support from the community as six people spoke during public comment on the item.
Nestor Jr. was one of those people, and he told a story of four Lindsay youths who participated in their boxing program at McDermont. Three of the boys dropped out of the program. He said he still sees those former students around town, and they are not on the right path. One boy, however; remained with the program. He has begun to excel.
It is Nestor Jr.’s hope that they will be able to use this new avenue to help as many of Lindsay’s youths as possible. He has heard far too many times the youth talk about being out on the streets, or in jail.
“That’s not right,” Nestor Jr. said. “I want to try and help them out, and encourage as many kids as possible.”