Founded in 2011 and located in St. Paul, Minnesota, Element Boxing Gym offers the chance for people from all walks of life, especially at-risk youth, to utilize the gym space to train and grow their opportunities. Dalton Outlaw is the founder of Element Gym. He gave up his own professional boxing career to pursue his passion and created a gym just as one of last boxing gyms in St. Paul closed. Dalton received a college education in business and used this knowledge to develop a business plan for the gym that also incorporates a social enterprise element.
Dalton, trained as an amateur and professional boxer, but felt the need to build Element Gym for his community in St. Paul. Dalton said that he “stopped trying to be the best IN the world, so that he could be the best FOR the world.” Element is less about fighting & competition, but more about bringing people together through collaboration. Through this collaboration, Element offers an array of classes such as boxing, kickboxing, cardio, rowing/biking, as well as recovery classes. There are two full-time staff members at Element and Dalton has attracted some of the best trainers in the Twin Cities that teach classes as independent contractors.
Element is unique is the fact that it offers opportunities for at-risk youth by allowing them to use the gym’s facilities for free. Element is also unique in the fact that is has a shared space concept. Dalton teamed up with Co-Motion Center for Movement which encompasses twelve businesses in its shared space through the use of the Element Foundation. The Element Foundation was created in addition to the gym as a way to create additional programs for at-risk youth such as martial arts, ballet, and dance.
Through all the programs and opportunities that Element has to offer, Dalton’s mission to create a space for opportunity and collaboration has succeeded—and it’s only getting started. We Sparkle is grateful for the opportunity to work with Element and all its staff!