Kawerau Boxing Club punches above its weight

By Te Ao Māori News, Wikitōria Day
Image/Rahera Cynthia Photography.

A $90,000 grant from the New Zealand Community Trust has been awarded to the Kawerau Boxing Club, which says it will help provide opportunities for the community. 

The club, which has been in operation for 50 years, provides health and fitness programmes in two local primary schools. 

On any given day, the Kawerau Boxing Club can have up to fifty kids turn up to train. 

The club also works with children in the community to help them develop and maintain a healthy lifestyle.

Executive Director Kataraina Godfery says,  “Modern lifestyles are increasingly sedentary and often people have unhealthy habits.

“Childhood obesity is a critical issue.  Our club recognises that more intensive support is needed to resolve this and other health issues impacting our community.”

The grant will also help the club reach more children and young people in the community. 

Mana Wāhine boxing fight 2014

“The support from NZCT really does mean the world to us,” says Kataraina. “It will allow us to extend the work we do to help children and their families stay fit and healthy.”

“What we do is a mix of activity-based sessions and classroom-based sessions.  The kids love it, especially the activities.  We’ve worked with local kids for over forty years and to take the work we do and the experience we bring from our gym to primary schools is a privilege.”

As well as working with children, the club also helps adults in the community with initiatives such as job-readiness.

“Obviously there’s more to keeping fit and healthy than just good habits.  A secure job and decent income helps and so we try and help people where we can.

"We help a lot of people with training for the police fitness test, for example.  But most of our work focuses on the things we can do well and are in our control, and that’s all about building those good habits.”