Kids learn the sweet science
Participants in a boxing program run by Geraldton’s Police and Citizens Youth and Community Centre say the program is important for wellbeing and self-defence skills.
The PCYC offers classes to disadvantaged people in the city, centre manager Talya Quinn said.
It is hoping to increase the reach of the program next year.
Nine-year-old Edward Dann said his favourite part of the program was that it was educational.
“Just learning about it,” he said.
Coral Wright, 11, said self-defence was important, due to the levels of violence in society.
“You can get bashed,” she said.
Not all participants in the program were there to be competitive. Some saw it as just fun.
“I like it, but I’m not good at it,” 13-year-old Tahesha Brennan said.
Tahesha said she didn’t like sparring with others, but showed some skill with the speedball, a ball attached to the floor and ceiling that boxers punch in order to train their hand speed.
Some participants are more competitive.
“Fighting,” Tyrone Comeagain, 13, said, when asked what his favourite part of the program was.
Tyrone showed off physicality and power in a sparring bout with boxing coach Justin Crudeli, a former Golden Gloves national amateur title winner who has also won State titles.
“Everyone should be able to defend themselves a little bit,” Crudeli said.
He said when he fought competitively, paying attention was the key.
“Just listening is the biggest thing,” he said.
“I always listened to what my coaches said. If you listened and you lost, then it’s all good.
“If you didn’t listen and you lost, then you got a kick up the butt.”
Quinn said self-defence had a role to play in helping participants build self-esteem and wellbeing.
“In this day and age, children are doing a lot less sports,” she said.
The PCYC is hoping to secure funding to expand classes next year.
That may include for people with physical and intellectual disabilities.
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