Mayor hit with urge to help out

Headshot of Peter Sweeney
Peter SweeneyGeraldton Guardian
Mayor Shane Van Styn.
Camera IconMayor Shane Van Styn.

He knows he will be hit with sniggers, smirks and sarcasm.

But the man with the most recognisable face in Geraldton — a bloke who is loved or loathed — says that will drive him.

“I’m doing it for the kids ... and myself,” City of Greater Geraldton Mayor Shane Van Styn said of his foray into the boxing ring.

Some time ago, Paul Barrett, promoter of Fists Of Fury 2: Maximum Impact, asked Van Styn if he could help to promote the March 28, 2020 event.

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Barrett wanted Van Styn to buy some tickets to the fight night at Activewest Stadium, which will help ATLAS (Access To Leisure and Sport) update and buy wheelchairs for disabled basketballers and Cystic Fibrosis WA.

Van Styn said he would do more than buy tickets. He would hop into the ring. However, the verbal agreement was kept “mum” until the mayor had done some training.

“It’s something I’ve always wanted to do . . . now it’s time,” 120kg Van Styn said. “I have to lose some weight. I looked at photographs of when I first became mayor to photographs pre the recent elections.

“The first lot were of a fresh, young guy. Then that guy was gone. It was time to set a goal. The longer you leave it, the less motivated you become, the less mentally driven. When I did other fitness disciplines, I was amazed at how fit boxers were. We could never get near them.

“I will have to build up to three training sessions a week. I am running and am a lot more disciplined. The bar fridges in my house and man cave have been switched off.”

Barrett has labelled the Van Styn “signing” as a promoter’s dream.

“They will come along to see Shane hit — or get hit. He is committed and training really hard.

“It is very hard work, but he is handling it. He just wanted to be a part of the fight night.”

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