Prague, Czech Republic
Aug 3 - 9 2008
Thousands of youth from all over the world gathered in Prague, Czech Republic during August 2008 for the YMCA Europe Festival. Seven days of fellowship, fun, hope and joy - and the Speed Bag!
Ernie Oriente ("EO"), Certified Speed Bag instructor for the Evalyn Sadlier Jones branch of the Sarasota Family YMCA, volunteered to travel to Prague and personally spread the joys and benefits of using the speed bag.
Read about Ernies Trip in the Sarasota Herald Tribune
The first thing Ernie had to do was design and build a speed bag unit in the middle of field.� That was no small feat but securing the lumbar and a few friendly locals, EO pulled it off without a hitch or a ruler. Here you see him with�his unique, self designed and made speed bag stand that allows for three�people at a time to take lessons.

Ernie joins Speedbagcentral in thanking Ringside Boxing for providing the Banner and other supportive equipment to help EO make this venture possible.
We also thank the YMCA organization for allowing Ernie and the speed bag to join the 2008 festival and enrich the lives of youth from over 30 countries.


The next thing Ernie had to do was stand and teach the speed bag - and do it for 10 hours a day. They came in droves, and he taught hundreds of people. They loved the sound, the punching and the personal instruction. He barely got a moments rest!

Several youthful attendees chose Ernie and the speed bag as "their favorite" and took great care of him, helping in every way they could. It was a great activity of sharing and caring. Ernie and the speed bag made hundreds of new friends and they will now be punching all over Europe!   Way to go EO!

Left to right:
Zach Hilferding, YMCA program director, Ernie Oriente, Two Norwegian youth that became "major speed bag enthusiasts" and helped EO all day, every day. Thanks Guys!  You helped kids from over 30 countries experience the speed bag!
Shortly before Ernie left for Prague, he found out he had prostate cancer. EO, all 76 years of him, took it in stride and did what he had to do. He got his * Doctor, Robert Carey, MD., Ph.D. (seen below) under the board and taught him how to hit the speed bag!

Speedbagcentral is happy to report that Ernie had surgery and is back up an doing fine.

Look for EO under the board - Teaching the Speed Bag in Sarasota Florida!
Prostate Cancer is a serious health issue, and we are thankful that Ernie was treated early and effectively. Dr Carey is recognized as one of the leading physicians in this area and utilizes the most modern technology available for treatment. Read about the da Vinci� Surgical System of minimally invasive Prostatectomy. He has also co-authored a book about prostate cancer and its treatment.
To all of our male friends in the areas around Sarasota Florida, especially our "senior" speed bag enthusiasts, please follow a regime of health care check ups and know that you have a friend in Dr. Robert Carey, M.D., Ph.D, specialist in Urology.
1921 Waldemere Street, Suite 310
Sarasota, Florida 34239
United States�
Phone: (941) 917-8488
For Ernies efforts, the Sarasota Family YMCA honored him as� "the Service Award volunteer of the year" .
Congratulations to ERNIE!