Boxing Clubs unite for Sparring Day in Hawks Nest

The gym was lively on the sparring day in Hawks Nest.

FIGHTING fit and visiting boxers filled the Hawks Nest Scout Hall for a Sparring Day on Saturday, 13 May.

The volunteer trainers at Hawks Nest Tea Gardens Boxing Club, who promote physical fitness and engagement of young people, welcomed clubs from across the Hunter.

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“We normally have ten kids engaged here, today they can meet other clubs and get some variety in sparring partners,” Rob Wiley, Trainer at the HNTG Boxing Club, told News Of The Area.

As Youth Engagement Officer at Taree PCYC, Mr Wiley heralds the active lifestyle and camaraderie of amateur boxing for keeping kids engaged.

Past Club members have gone on to compete in Newcastle and state-wide, while others have returned as adults to help out.

“Safety is taken very seriously, and we never put them into the ring until they’ve been trained properly,” Mr Wiley explained.

With hands well-wrapped to prevent injury, the punching bags copped a few poundings in the warm-ups.

All youth present exuded commitment and focus, as posters of professional bouts and inspirational Mohammed Ali quotes papered the Scout Hall’s walls.

“I like it, and get a lot out of the healthy lifestyle,” said Phoebe Earl, a visiting boxer from Anna Bay, who was introduced to the sport by her father, a trainer at the Nelson Bay PCYC.

With six weeks left at Goulburn’s Police Academy, Phoebe will hit the mean streets of Parramatta, where her pastime may prove helpful.

“This is a really important activity to keep our kids engaged, healthy and on the right path, and I support this great local initiative,” Kate Washington, local State Member and NSW Cabinet Minister, told NOTA – no doubt happy to be free of the trappings of Macquarie Street, for the weekend, at least.

“Thanks to Rob Wiley and the PCYC teams for putting their energy into our kids,” Ms Washington added.

Rob and the team give two nights per week of their time to train the kids, with an extra Saturday morning session for adults.

By Thomas O’KEEFE

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