Coach hopes to rebuild boxing gym for adults with autism

A fire gutted the House of Payne gym in April. The owner coaches the adults to box and how to never let life knock them down.

Antoinette Biordi

Sep 7, 2023, 6:09 AM

Updated 259 days ago

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A Floral Park boxing gym for adults with autism is regaining its footing following a fire that caused thousands of dollars worth of damage.
Thomas Payne, owner of House of Payne, says he loved to teach adults with autism how to box.
“God gave me the gift to train, and when I did it, I fell in love with it,” Payne says.
Payne is not only coaching the adults to box but also how to never let life knock them down.
A fire gutted the House of Payne gym on Jericho Turnpike in April.
Fortunately, the community was there to back Payne up.
Joey Olivia, who owns Legacy Gym down the block, called Payne to open his space up for House of Payne boxers.
Payne has been teaching his students at Legacy Gym while the building gets repaired.
Payne says it took six years for him to build his gym and only two hours for a fire to knock it down. He says he lost $40,000 worth of equipment and now he is counting on the community to help him rebuild.
The coach does not have insurance and spent part of his pension to build the business.
A GoFundMe has been started for Payne so he can continue his work at the building that was destroyed in the fire.


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