Golden Gloves

By Erica

“Son, the purpose of the ‘Y’ is to help develop the minds and bodies of our young people and sports help a great deal.”  So said Lou Goldenberg, the Chairman of the “Y” Boxing Committee. Physical health and the importance of exercise have always been focal points of the Y’s activities.  Basketball, baseball, water polo and handball were all important sports at the Y, but boxing has a special significance.  The Y hosted a famous boxing tournament, called the Golden Gloves, which originated in the United States.  Sam Steinberg, the Honourary Treasurer of the 1956 Golden Gloves Committee, wrote an article about the history of the Golden Gloves, and that information can be seen in the paragraph below.

The Golden Gloves Tournament began in the United States in 1928, with tournaments of boxers from New York and Chicago, sponsored by the Chicago Tribune and the New York Daily News.  Boys who believed they had boxing skills were eligible to participate, and the winners of these tournaments would become Golden Gloves Champions.  The Golden Gloves Tournament started in Quebec in 1938, when the name was changed from the “Provincial Boxing Championship.”  In 1953 the YM-YWHA was given the task to conduct the Golden Gloves tournament.  The objective of the Golden Gloves tournaments in Quebec was to bring together young men from all over the province, no matter their ethnic or religious background.  The tournaments was strictly for amateurs and the proceeds from the Golden Gloves tournaments went to finance the youth service program it provided.  The Y took these tournaments very seriously, producing magazines which comprised of articles and advertisements from local companies supporting the Golden Gloves. Golden Gloves also received quite a bit of publicity in Montreal newspapers, both English and French.  A great deal of money was spent on Golden Gloves, with funds going towards publicity, prizes, medical services and supplies, forum rental, and of course, gloves.

If one were to go the Y today, they would see the following quote by Maimonides regarding exercise.  He said, “Maintaining a healthy and sound body is amongst the ways of God.”  Boxing and the Golden Gloves Tournament were important to the Y’s identity as an institution which did and still does promote physical fitness.  Lou Goldenberg wrote this as an open letter to his son, which can be seen as the accompaniment to this blog post.   Much information has been found in regards to the Golden Gloves Tournaments, and maybe one day these famed tournaments will be discussed in greater detail by researchers and the public alike.

4 Comments to “Golden Gloves”

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