Recap of Champ Up Speech at St. Camillus in Rockaway Beach


Former Muay Thai champion, author, coach, and CROM owner, Chris Romulo presented his Champ UP message on Thursday, March 7 at St. Camillus. He spoke to fifth- through eighth-grade students about the importance of getting back up when life puts you down.

Romulo started off by telling the children that he was there to show them how to fight, but not with their hands and feet, but how to fight with their minds, the most important weapon of all.  He  stressed that we all have champions inside of us fighting to win at life.

Romulo explained to the students that there’s nothing that he did in his life that they can’t do in theirs, but it takes change—change of action, change of their environment, change of the people around them, but most importantly, change of their mindset.

He showed the students how he accomplished many great things in his life like winning championship titles, building his own gym with over 300 members, authoring his own book, and starting and growing his own loving family. He made it clear to the kids that all of that didn’t come without a price and that he fell down numerous times in pursuit of his goals and dreams.

During his interactive presentation, students battled self-doubt, fear, and ego by jumping on stage with Romulo to show off their basketball and dancing skills—helping the kids understand that life is a fight and that we all have a primal choice. “Only you can decide to lay down and give up or stand and fight with all your heart.”

Romulo’s lesson comes at a bittersweet time. The Board of Members and Board of Directors of St. Camillus Catholic Academy have voted to close the school at the end of this school year. The difficult decision was made due to declining enrollment and the severe budget deficits that have resulted.

With the announced closing of St. Camillus, Romulo believes that his presentation not only addressed the challenges of cyberbullying, but has also helped the students and staff understand no matter how much disappointment and hardship one faces, we can all use it as fuel to move forward in life.

Romulo’s appearance was sponsored by the Program for the Development of the Human Potential, more commonly known as PDHP, founded in the mid-1970s.  PDHP is the drug, alcohol, and gambling prevention program that services the students in the Catholic elementary and high schools in the boroughs of Brooklyn and Queens.  It is an organization that is part of the Department of Education, Diocese of Brooklyn and receives its funding from NYS Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services.