From Fight for Life to Matatini

By Rahia Timutimu

The Fight for Life Ed Gisborne is one of the biggest events on the Gisborne Calendar for the year. In just six weeks, 20 amateur fighters will fight head to head, to raise funds for the Gisborne branch of the Life Education Trust. One fighter has this goal in mind as he prepares for Matatini next year.

Training morning and night is the routine for the twenty fighters who are a part of the Fight for Life Ed Gisborne. In just five short weeks, they’ll be fighting each other in the annual competition.

“Fight for life is massive and has been at one of the highlights of the year in Gisborne,” says boxing Coach Kim-Maree Larby, “everyone has their work functions there for Christmas, it’s like the Melbourne Cup of Gisborne, and it’s a really good event and who better to get behind them than Life Ed.”

Among the 20 fighters is Shane Luke from Ngāti Kahungunu and Ngāti Ruanui.

“I was inspired by friends that had done this before, It’s something I always wanted to do you know, to step in the ring and tick it off the bucket list and also I wanted to help the community and especially the kids in the community that I work with through my mahi,” says Luke.

He’s been boxing training for around 3 months now for this fight.

“The first week was gruelling,” admits Luke, “we got put through fitness tests and all kinds of stuff, some long hard trainings but it has been awesome. It’s pretty much the same now but I am enjoying it and really enjoying learning the sport of boxing and everything that it takes.”

There’s been many rewards in his hard work that will be installed into other aspects of his life.

“I’m currently apart of Waihirere Māori Club and we’ve begun our noho and training for Te Matatini, the fitness and training I do here helps for that in prep for Poneke.”

The competition will take place on the 30th of next month.