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AF boxing coach interested in forming club at Vandenberg

Coach Steven Franco talks strategy with Senior Airmen Matt MCoy during the Air Force Boxing Championships April 3, 2010 at the Bennett Fitness Center at Lackland Air Force Base, Texas. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Christopher Griffin)

Coach Steven Franco talks strategy with Senior Airmen Matt MCoy during the Air Force Boxing Championships April 3, 2010 at the Bennett Fitness Center at Lackland Air Force Base, Texas. (U.S. Air Force photo/Senior Airman Christopher Griffin)

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. - Tech. Sgt. Steven Franco, the All Air Force Boxing Team head coach, knocks out a Navy opponent during the 1996 Armed Forces Championship. (Courtesy photo)

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. - Tech. Sgt. Steven Franco, the All Air Force Boxing Team head coach, knocks out a Navy opponent during the 1996 Armed Forces Championship. (Courtesy photo)

VANDENBERG AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. -- A new member to Team Vandenberg, who was recently assigned to the 30th Security Forces Squadron here, is eager to reinvigorate the base's interest in the sport of boxing.

Tech. Sgt. Steven Franco, the All Air Force Boxing Team head coach, is prospecting for Vandenberg Airmen who are interested in training and forming a base boxing team.

With the demolition of the base's boxing annex building in January, Vandenberg's semi-organized boxing program, at the time, quickly began to fizzle out as the year progressed and the base was without a single location for boxing enthusiasts to congregate.

"Being that I am a coach, I'm curious to see if there is enough interest at Vandenberg to start a boxing club," Sergeant Franco said. "A club would allow the participants an opportunity to gain the needed experience required to become part of the All Air Force Boxing Team."

Born and raised in the Bronx, N.Y., Sergeant Franco has been immersed in boxing from a very young age. Shortly after joining the Air Force, he began boxing for the All Air Force Boxing Team and received the gold medal at the 1995, 1996, 1997 and 2000 Armed Forces Boxing Championships.

With the experience of being both a boxer and coach, Sergeant Franco is able to interpret the benefits boxing can have on Airmen.

"Boxing is a great way for Airmen to get into shape and lose weight," Sergeant Franco said. "Boxing is a very active, physical sport. The training alone is intense. In general, from what I've noticed, the Airmen who are a part of a boxing club seem to also excel in their unit's PT (physical training) programs."

Until an official boxing club is formed at Vandenberg, Sergeant Franco will be the base's person of contact for all matters pertaining to future involvement in athletics with the All Air Force Boxing Team.

For those people who are interested in forming a boxing club at Vandenberg, or who would like more information about the All Air Force Boxing Team, contact Sergeant Franco via email at steven.franco@vandenberg.af.mil.