Tauranga Boxing Academy – The End Game is to Get Them into Work

Craig Nees

In our Spring 2018 issue we wrote an article, “Turning Kids Lives Around Through Boxing”.

“Bearing in mind, some of these kids start with us when they are 9 or 10 and go through to 16 or 18, so this is a long game and we’ve got time to develop the relationship, set the goals and explain what the incentives are to improving their outcomes”, says Craig Nees, Chair of the BOP Youth Development Trust which runs the Tauranga Boxing Academy (TBA).

The TBA has already received a lot of interest from prominent businesses who have heard about the programme and want to contribute by offering work experience and later on apprenticeships.

“That’s pure gold to us, because that’s our end game”, explained Craig.

First Steps

“These kids come to us and they are in a situation where they wake up in the morning with no hope and few prospects. Our aim is to create a situation where they want to get out of bed, there is something positive to look forward to and they can hope to create a better life for themselves.”

The first step in the process is getting the kids fit and focussed and they learn life values and the reason why those values are important. This works in combination with incentives created to reward effort such as an Outward Bound scholarships, fishing trips, mountain biking and other special experiences. Things that most of them would not ordinarily participate in.

“So, they begin to understand that through making changes to their own attitude, they can create positive outcomes for themselves which improves their self-esteem and the potential value they can offer our community in the future”, explains Craig.

“Many of these kids could one day turn out to be leaders in our community and already, we have some older kids helping out the younger ones.”

If you would like to connect with or offer support to efforts of the Tauranga Boxing Academy, please contact the Trust Chair, Craig Nees on 029 244 4086, or TBA Manager Paora Howe on 027 220 8238.