Down To Box: Delaware boxing class for those with Down syndrome takes off

NEWARK, Delaware (WPVI) – Jonathan Gainey has 14 years of personal training experience and has worked with hundreds of clients and taught numerous fitness classes. But his favorite class he teaches is the one closest to him.

“I like to think it’s a testament to how long they’ve been with me and my class. They come in and their smiles never fade,” Gainey said.

He and his business partner Lauren Camp founded Down to Box, a non-profit boxing program specifically for adults with Down syndrome.

They say there was a gap in cardio for these individuals after age 18. The program began at his Knockout Fitness gym in Newark, Delaware.

“Individuals with Down syndrome may experience reduced muscle mass and low muscle tone. Boxing helps. It’s the skill, ring time, and cardio aspects that can help these individuals,” Gainey says.

They don’t hit each other, but there are many training programs he does with his class to get in shape. He says his class isn’t limited to what some can or can’t do.

“I like to think that it doesn’t limit anyone. Down Syndrome is an intellectual disability, but I set the bar just as high as I do in any of my other courses. So often when I teach classes for adults with disabilities, people lower the bar. I like to leave it where it is,” he says.

Karla Corrie has boxed in class for years. She says her favorite part is when she fights in the ring with Coach Jonathan.

“Sometimes he’s a troublemaker,” she jokes. “He likes to cheat. But we always have a lot of fun.”

She says she and her friends can’t wait for next week’s class to get in the ring and learn new skills.

The program has been expanded. There are now 15 different program locations across the country.

For more information or to register, please visit

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