HAZLETON, Pa. — What started as a small boxing gym has transformed into a 13,000-square-foot sports training facility with a focus on setting kids and teens in the Hazleton area up for success.
"A lot of people walk in, and they are like, 'Wow, we didn't even know you were here.' Surprise! we are here," said Christie Provanzo, executive director of the Hazleton Area Recreation Program (HARP).
HARP recently opened its new facility on South Poplar Road in Hazleton with everything from free weights to batting cages, offering a variety of sports training and exercise programs.
"We do have regular memberships where you can access the facility. We have a very safe key fob system, so you can come in and use the equipment with your program, and we also have live classes with myself and other trainers, and we also have youth boxing," Provanzo said.
The Hazleton Area Recreation Program is more than just a place to build muscle. Founders had a vision to also build on life values.
"Our founders really had a vision of putting something together to get our youth off the streets and give them a safe space to come hang out, work out, really to build character and integrity that they can take with them as they move into their future lives," said Jarrod Deangelo, president of the program.
Deangelo says they know that not all families can afford the monthly membership, so they have a way to make sure kids have equal opportunities.
"They do sponsorships to all kids in the program, and we have built criteria they have to meet in order to apply for a sponsorship."
The Hazleton Area Recreation Program also has fitness programs for adults.
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