Kashawn Zeno, Winner of the MPP Muaythai Essay Contest

Written by Muaythai Preservation Project. Posted in MPP News

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Published on May 09, 2012 with 2 Comments

The Muaythai Preservation Project recently held an essay contest in Rockaway Beach, NY for at-risk youth in the community. The topic was “What would you like to accomplish through Muaythai?” Participants were asked to answer the question in a 300-350 word essay. The contest was open to underprivileged youth between the ages of 13-17 and the winner received a 6 month membership to a participating Muaythai Gym.

The Muaythai Preservation Project worked closely with members of the community including Rockaway Beach grade school teacher, Ellen Sautner, and owners of Crom Martial Training, Chris and Sarah Romulo.

Ellen Sautner has been involved with the kids of Rockaway Beach for many years, watching some of them grow up from just 5 years old. Her experience with the children helped to assure that the contestants were all eligible and deserving of the final prize. The criteria for the contest was based on circumstances like family income, and whether the children had both parents present in their life. Ellen’s involvement in the kids’ lives helped to determine that they all met this criteria.

As for the gym, Crom Martial Training was one of the MPP’s first choices to kickoff the new Essay Contest. Chris Romulo, pro fighter and owner of Crom Martial Training, is no stranger to working with kids in the community. He has been involved with community programs in the past, such as the “Bullying, we’re kickin’ it” campaign.

Chris’ stature as a coach and fighter was also what led us to this decision. Chris takes an artistic approach to being a fighter and it shows in the ring. Rarely does he turn his fights into brawls. Instead, he relies on technique and smarts. And this transfers over to his coaching philosophy. At the end of every kids class, Chris sits with his students and goes over the importance and value of one’s own life. Students are encouraged to learn these philosophies and cultivate them in their everyday lives.

The Muaythai Preservation Project determined a winner based on the ability of the children to convey their thoughts, punctuation, grammar, but most importantly, their answer to the topic question. In the end, 13 year old Rockaway Beach resident Kashawn Zeno won the 6 month gym membership sponsored by the Muaythai Preservation Project.


Below is Kashawn’s winning essay

Muaythai Is For Me

Learning Muay Thai will help me accomplish my goals in life. Muay Thai is very motivating to me for many reasons. I think it can give me a chance to dream bigger than ever!

Muay Thai is an ancient sport that teaches to fight with punches, kicks, elbows, and knees. Cool, learning a full contact sport without really fighting. It is great for body conditioning, speed and agility. I am a small guy it would teach me to have courage and self-confidence with other kids my age. I live in a rough project, I often feel scared when I go outside, because I am not a fighter and not real brave. If  I took Muay Thai I would feel more confident going outside in my hood.

Muay Thai is the official sport of Thailand. I went to an exhibition at Crom Martial gym.  It was so awesome, I really wanted to be part of it! I liked the way the instructor spoke to the students he was so supportive and was a great role model for the kids, that would be great for me.

I read that Muay Thai is good for self-discipline, which would help me with my schoolwork so I could focus and learn to achieve my goals. I am a kid who struggles with schoolwork and want to learn ways to improve my focus and grades. I also read that it teaches self-awareness. I will learn so much about myself and what I want to be in life, maybe even a Muay Thai teacher some day.

I get along well with others and learn sports fast. I listen well to instruction, I always try my hardest, and learn from my mistakes. My basketball coach always says that I am very encouraging to my teammates. I know I would be a great Muay Thai student at Crom Martial. My parents do not have the money to send me to Crom Martial, and I know they would be so proud if I won a contest to be able to go.

-Kashawn Zeno

About The Muaythai  Project

The Muaythai Project is a 501(c)3 charity organization with two goals:

1)  To spread Muaythai as a means to help underprivilaged youth in North America.

2) To assist in the spread of Muaythai and the people of the sport throughout North America.

We are funded by businesses and individuals of the community.  If you would like to contribute to the Project please visitwww.muaythaiproject.org/donate

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There are currently 2 Comments on Kashawn Zeno, Winner of the MPP Muaythai Essay Contest. Perhaps you would like to add one of your own?

  1. It’s great to see what you guys have done so far for the sport of Muay Thai.

    This was a great essay by Kashawn–very inspiring. I felt this kids emotion through the essay and you can really sense that he wants to learn Muay Thai real bad. I am glad he won. Congratulations to all of the other kids who entered and the two who were runner ups. Through hard work and dedication anything is possible.

  2. Congratulations Kashawn! And to the guys at MTPP – Keep up the good work!