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Fifty-year-old westsider awarded for performance in boxing ring

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Pat Schmidt with NOGGOA top referee award

Pat Schmidt with NOGGOA top referee award

Meeting George Foreman at the Van Andel Arena 6 years ago during a World Title fight

Meeting George Foreman at the Van Andel Arena 6 years ago during a World Title fight

Pat, 2nd from left, in 1974 as a 112-pound novice boxer

Pat, 2nd from left, in 1974 as a 112-pound novice boxer

Pat Schmidt, a local westsider in his 50s, proves that you can still be a star in the ring even after hanging up the boxing gloves. Out of 42 referees that participated in the 2010 National Golden Gloves Tournament in Little Rock, Arkansas, Pat received the NOGGOA (National Organization of Golden Gloves Officials of America) award for top referee.

Many say that when you get involved in boxing, it sticks in your blood, and Pat is a great example of this. 

"I started when I was, ah, you were supposed to be sixteen, but I started when I was fifteen," Pat said.

He went on to compete in the Golden Gloves Tournament five times and boxed for six years in all. In his early 20s, he hung up his gloves with a record of 15-8.

He attended boxing tournaments throughout the years, but it wasn't until 1992 that he got involved again, this time as a referee. After officiating for some years, Pat became the MGGA (Michigan Golden Gloves Association) chief of officials and has held the position for nine years now. He is also on the MGGA Board, has been the tournament director the last two years and became the vice president of MGGA this year.

When asked why he puts in so much effort and does so much for amateur boxing, Pat replied, "It saved me from the streets when I was a teenager and getting in a lot of trouble, and I needed a place to go and feel good about myself and amateur boxing did that for me."

For Pat and countless others, boxing becomes a passion not only for what happens inside the ring, but for what happens inside themselves: personal growth, learning responsibility and dedication, staying out of trouble, and being in an environment where there are positive role models to look up to.

"After getting into really good shape and winning a few fights and keep me out of trouble, it literally saved me from the streets," Pat said. "And with a little help of a judge as well that gave me a break because I was boxing in a state tournament that weekend, the weekend he was going to sentence me. But he didn’t, gave me a break and I never looked back." 

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