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Sparring drills and life skills from Wairoa Boxing Club

Wairoa Boxing Club image for web

BOXING training can change a youngster’s life for the better, say Wairoa Boxing Club trainers Moana Foster and Siobhan Storey.

The mother-daughter combo has been involved in the sport of boxing for over a decade and this year are part of a team of dedicated adults making a change for kids at the popular club.

“This sport demands self-control, mental and physical strength, and that’s why we’re doing things a bit differently here this year,” says Moana.

Alongside chief coach Jamie Cox, the club’s committee members have for a long time understood that their role isn’t just about teaching kids sport. It’s also about nurturing them and teaching them that life is full of possibilities.

“Participation in a sport like this is so good for our rangatahi. We’ve seen it over and over where a kid’s self-esteem is bolstered by getting down here every week and working as hard as they can,” says Siobhan.

But this year, instead of being a place where kids simply work out, Wairoa Boxing Club is focusing more on sparring, on supporting emerging young talent, and getting them to tournaments. More young boxers are now being registered to the club and encouraged to represent it at North Island boxing events.

While classes for rangatahi are still free, the step-change means families must fundraise to help with the costs of travel and participation.

“After a bit of a dry patch it’s been a goal for the club to have more registered boxers representing us,” says Moana. “Not only does it open up a world of opportunities for the young athletes, but for our club it instils local pride and acts as a reminder of just how much everyone’s hard work is paying off.”

With greater emphasis on boxing for their club, trainers have capped class numbers at 20 youngsters this year. So far, they’ve been impressed with the kids’ commitment and undertaking to the sport, the club, and themselves.

Deserving special mention are the three Rore-Keefe brothers: Hemi, Anaru and Teruiihi, who show great promise - not just in boxing, but in leadership, teamwork, and self-belief.

Sixteen-year-old Hemi recently spent time with New Zealand boxer Alexis Pritchard who talked to the kids about the importance of mindset.

Siobhan says they learnt that mindset can have a huge impact on the performance level of an athlete, and that it also helps you become more resilient and a better version of yourself. “It was an important takeaway message from the session,” she adds.

Local civil infrastructure company Quality Roading and Services has a close association with the club. A number of its staff, including chief executive Nigel Pollock, take part in adult fitness classes.

Mr Pollock says he has followed the club’s development with interest and applauds Jamie, Moana and Siobhan for being more than just trainers showing up to put on some drills and entertain the kids.

“They’re teaching kids how to be in life, how to communicate with adults, from shaking hands to eye contact and even teaching kids to learn from a loss or being disappointed for being taken off.”

“These are all things that can be related to in real life and the main reason QRS is pleased to have been able to help financially support the club this year.”

Image caption: At training this Monday were from left Nigel Pollock, Anaru Rore-Keefe, Teruiihi Rore-Keefe, Hemi-Toa Rore-Keefe, Moana Foster, Siobhan Storey, Kristy Spooner, and Stefini Burling-Claridge.

27 July 2021

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