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Strength and Respect Through Boxing

At ATC, we encourage boys to engage in activities that develop strength, character and respect. There is a new activity being beginning this term that offers these benefits in a safe and fun environment – boxing! Some might say boxing is a barbaric sport, throwing haymakers or a mugs game. I believe that boxing is a sport of respect, discipline and honour developing co-ordination, self-control, timing and strength.

Utilising my experience and expertise as an amateur and professional boxer, I am looking forward to educating the boys on the finer details of boxing. I started boxing when I was 22 and competed at a National level for 10 years, earning State and National Titles. Boxing helped me understand discipline and develop a respect for the sport and for others. I know firsthand that boxing is more than just a mugs game.

In recent article in the Guardian focussing on young people and their need for physical outlet, the writer states that “boxing gives young people a sense of worth and self-esteem. They stop labelling themselves and the frantic quest to prove themselves by bravado becomes unnecessary. “

Since commencing boxing classes in the College gym on Mondays and Wednesdays, I have seen boys who may not be the most gifted in the field of athleticism, begin to reap the rewards, growing both mentally and physically whilst in a supervised, structured environment. Boxing also teaches risk, that actions do have consequences. In the social context, boys learn that getting hit does hurt and can, when used in a violent way, have dire consequences.

The rapport being built amongst the boys is tangible and I encourage all students to come and see what’s happening in the program. Why not join in? It is a great way to connect and it gives every boy the chance to challenge themselves and develop new skills.

Sammy Leone, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander program coordinator.