They competed this weekend in an all-girls boxing tournament. They faced competitors from around the country and around the world. And they came home winners.
They're part of a special program in Fresno that's helping kids succeed in sports and in life.
Inside a central Fresno gym, current and future champions are pushing their bodies, perfecting their skills.
And alongside the boys are two girls: 13-year-old Eli Salinas and 15-year-old Kylie Hall.
At five-foot-two and five-foot-five, they may not look imposing, but they are a force in the boxing ring.
The teens competed at an all-girls boxing competition this weekend in the Bay Area. They faced off against boxers from Canada, Puerto Rico, New York and California. And they returned home winners.
"I was kind of nervous 'cause it was my first fight. I was hoping to win," Kylie said.
"We've been training really hard for it. So I was like 'yes we're gonna win,' Eli said.
They have different reasons for taking up boxing. Eli wanted to be able to defend herself. Kylie wanted to improve her endurance for soccer. She's been boxing for eight months. Eli's been boxing for three years, since she was ten years old.
"I like it because it keeps you out of the streets. And instead of being at home and watching TV, you could be exercising, losing weight and having fun," Eli said.
They learned their skills in the PAL program, that stands for Police Activities League. It's run by the Fresno Police Department.
"We are very strict and we will ensure that they will stay in school, get good grades, and have good positive activities," said Lt. Mike Doyle with the Fresno Police Department.
Boxing is helping Eli and Kylie succeed. And they hope one day to take these skills to the Olympics.
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