Making a difference

Elevation Combat Sports Academy made a welcomed addition recently to the gym, located at 4863 West Lake Road, Dunkirk.

Three wrestling mats were donated to the gym, and are now stationed inside the main room of the gym where the boxing ring is located. Before the mats, the walking surface was concrete flooring.

“We do 90 percent of our stuff in that big room and it’s like walking on clouds now,” ECS owner Dave Harriger said. “It’s great and it feels nice. We wanted to bring the mats in to make it more comfortable and cut down on injuries. Having a floor with a little cushion is a lot better than concrete.”

While the new flooring will be a welcomed addition for all of the programs ECS offers, the grappling class will see the most benefits, as before, there was just a small mat to grapple on.

“You have a lot more room to do things,” Harriger said of grappling. “If they want to get crazy with live Judo sparring, they can really go at it now, which is nice. It gets packed in there and we run out of mat space. We find any way to add extra equipment.”

It took Harriger and four other helping hands five hours to lay the three wrestling mats down as they jacked up the boxing ring with hydraulic jacks, slid the mats underneath and taped the seams together.

“I knew how I wanted to do it and it came together nicely,” Harriger added. “It’s impressive when you walk in and it’s the first thing you see. No other gym around here has that kind of matting. It is three wrestling mats and we had to shave a bit off the one end. The length was absolutely perfect.”

To see what classes are available, visit, ecsafight1.com.