Northland Strong: Coach Jimmy
In Barnum, you will find Front Street Training Center. A gym that was started roughly two years ago during covid when gyms were shut down. It was a place for professional boxer Jimmy Barnes to train at.
In a town that’s not big in the Northland, but for Coach Jimmy, there was a vision and a goal when it came to picking the right location. "It’s about making change, and you know what it starts in the little town of Barnum, and I’m cool with that," said Coach Jimmy.
He is known to use practical knowledge based on his experience to provide instruction to the kids in the community and clients.
The gym came to be a place where Jimmy became not only an owner and a coach but a mentor. "It means everything to me to be a mentor to these kids! Without a mentor in my life, I wouldn’t be where I am today.”
Having someone to help you in your life can make a big difference, as Jimmy shares. "When I was young, I struggled with depression; I got bullied, dealt with a lot of mental health stuff, and people that stuck with me changed my life. If these people didn’t stick with me, I wouldn’t be where I am today or even have done the things I’ve done today if it wasn’t for them." When they come into this gym, I’m their mentor. I am going to stay with them regards less of what happens.”
Front Street Training offers several classes like Competition Boxing team, Adult Boot Camp and Fitness, Little Bull’s Boxing and Fitness and 27/7 Open Gym.
Jimmy started a program called “HOPE SATURDAYS.” It is open to everyone of any accessibility and provides a healthy outlet to breathe and release anger in a non-judgmental atmosphere; while giving back to the community. His boxers, assistant coaches, and others help with the program. This class is by invite only and is completely free of charge to participants. This program will be ongoing and will meet 1-2 Saturdays per month!
Some of the kids that train with Coach Jimmy have gone on to be regional, state, and national champions. "It started with their growth and their discipline. And honestly, it led to so many leaps and bounds for a lot of these kids."
When looking back at how far some kids how come from their first day’s at the gym, is a reflection of growth. "When they come in the room, they are nervous, they are timid, there dealing with stuff outside of here. So when they come in here, they are able to have fun and leave it all here.”
Boxing is growing daily with huge numbers of both boys and girls taking to the sport. Coach Jimmy talks about the young girls coming through his doors. "It’s amazing to see the female response. We’ve had a lot of girls come into this program, and these aren’t the only ones. We have quite a few in this program. It also to see them making strides and see them beat up on some of the guys, it’s amazing!"
One of front street’s female boxers wasn’t sure what she was getting herself into when she joined but has seen her life change. "When I first joined, I wasn’t really confident in myself, in what I do or athletic, says Willow Stangeland. I started getting into it a lot; it has helped boost my confidence and happiness."
As a dad of a young boxer and an assistant at the gym, Justin Stangeland can see how boxing can and has changed the lives of children. The one thing about this gym that I noticed is positive team morality. The positive reinforcement through team morality through team exercises or simply through positive coaching. The biggest thing I have seen is that gets people out of their shells. Children of all backgrounds have been able to come out of their shells by building their confidence, being told, "hey you are good, you are good enough." Working with that and living on that."
Through it all, Coach Jimmy wants to be an inspiration to anyone that comes into the doors of Front Street Training Center. “This gym is for everyone! When you walk in those doors, I promise I will do everything in my power; to help you achieve your goals. Don’t be afraid we are family. That is one of my biggest pieces, and you ask anyone who is here; that they fell apart of the family, they feel a part of the team, always. I strive for that, and it builds from there."
This is why Coach Jimmy Barnes is Northland Strong!