For some young athletes it’s nearly impossible to pay for the expenses of competitive sports but a local nonprofit has a goal of taking that hardship away. The SD Project raises money for the families and players who struggle financially, including the Contreras brothers.
“I have three sons,” Frank Contreras, the boys’ father, said. “When they started boxing, you know, gloves, headgear, shorts, shoes, it all adds up.”
With a full-time job, Frank said providing for the boys was near impossible. The Boys and Girls Club connected the SD Project with the Contreras family. The organization provided the boys with brand new equipment to start practicing.
“A lot of it to us seems like nothing big, 400 bucks here, 500 bucks here, some equipment here and there,” Sam Dimatteo, founder of the SD Project, said. “But we’re not in their shoes and somebody that truly needs the help, it’s a bigger deal than you think.”
The SD Project has helped thousands of athletes across the world achieve their dreams.
“That took a tremendous weight off my shoulders,” Frank said about the donation.
The boys’ coach at the boxing gym, Antonio Diaz, said the equipment had more than just monetary value.
“When somebody gives you something, it motivates you and makes you want to work harder,” Diaz said. “Harder and harder and do big things.”
Steven Contreras is the most successful boxer of the three. The young athlete is currently undefeated. Last week, he won the SoCal state championship.
“I had lots of doubt in myself but with the support of my dad and my whole entire boxing team of Indio, I was able to do it,” Steven said.
“The sponsorship that Sam gave him, that equipment, motivated him to get better,” Diaz said. “Do more.”
Steven is starting to outgrow his equipment but the SD Project said they plan on helping with the expenses.
Frank said he trains with Steven in the ring because “the only way to get your kid to do something is if you can do it too.”
For more information on the SD Project visit: https://www.thesdproject.com/