Gym sessions pack a punch

MARK SCOTTNorth West Telegraph

Hedland youths are being given the chance to learn the discipline, confidence and skills that come with boxing thanks to a local boxing instructor and community group Wirraka Maya.

Instructor China Kew Ming started his boxing gym at Port Hedland nine years ago, and said with little competition around town, the gym was full most nights with both kids and adults training.

About six months ago, he was approached by staff at South Hedland’s Wirraka Maya Well Being Centre with a plan to bring at-risk young people to train once a week.

Kew Ming said with himself and other professional boxers available for training, the young people were really enjoying it.

“The idea is to get them off the street, let me tire them out here, then send them home and to bed so they’re staying out of trouble,” he said.

Wirraka Maya transition to adulthood project officer Amanda May said the initiative was working.

“We asked the kids what they wanted to do and boxing was a recurring theme, so we decided to give this a shot,” she said.

“We bring them down here, let them train, feed them then take them back home.

“The idea is that we’re giving them something to do and a way to use up their energy in a proactive manner.

“China teaches them in a very structured format so it teaches them discipline, self-esteem and confidence, which is what these kids need.”

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