WHAT began as an idea just a few months ago has turned into a reality with the opening of a Youth Boxing Gym in Hawks Nest.
The driving forces behind the gym are Tea Gardens Police Senior Constable Rob Wylie and Boxing Coaches Phil Wallis and Steve Pietsch.
“There have been so many supporters, the response has been overwhelming,” Rob Wylie told News Of The Area.
There’s also been a remarkable response from the area’s youth, with 30 eager recruits already signed up and going to training twice a week.
“We’ve got a real mix of kids from different environments,” Rob said.
“It’s excellent exercise and they build up fitness.”
“There’s no obligation for the kids to spar, if they just want to do training that’s ok.’’
The gym is open to boys and girls aged between 12 and 17 although exceptions can be made.
‘’We’ve had a few kids that have come in under 12 and we assess them individually to see if they’re up to it.”
Like all projects attached to the Police Youth Community Program, it’s not all about the sport.
‘’We’re very strict about discipline.’’
‘’When they’re outside in the community we expect them to behave in a way that doesn’t bring disrepute to the organisation.”
“If you muck up outside or you are caught bullying then you’re out.”
The Boxing Gym is set up in temporary digs in Booner Street, Hawks Nest, the premises kindly donated by Century 21 in Tea Gardens.
But Constable Rob Wylie says what they really need is a permanent home for the gym with preferably enough room to spar.
‘’We’re looking to the future, it might not happen this year or next but we’re looking to the future.”
Both Rob Wylie and Phil Wallis freely admit they could do with some help when it comes to grant writing and fundraising.
Rob and the coaches, who all donate their time, are passionate about the sport and very thankful for the amazing financial and community support they’ve already received.
“Boxing got me through my teenage years and kept me out of trouble,” Constable Wylie said.
The Gym is open from 4pm till 6pm on Mondays and Wednesdays.
For more information contact Constable Rob Wylie on 0423 014 415.
By Margie TIERNEY