Topics: Fitness, Youth

Vili's Community Gym motivating Manurewa youth to keep active

By Numia Ponika-Rangi
  • Auckland

Vili's Community Gym in Manurewa is truly a community affair and concerns for the children has prompted the owner to wave fees for families who sometimes can't pay. He'd rather they come to classes because the alternative is roaming the streets and getting into trouble.

This is not just a boxing gym, but a place of learning, a shelter in a family environment for kids of all cultures.

Ofisa Vili, known as "Vili" says, “Indians, Asians, it's not all about you know just looking at trying to train the Island kids with our gym, we have a mixture of variety of kids that come here, we take on anybody.”

Cammy Subritzky-Vili says, “It helps them physically and mentally and it shows a lot of the other kids in the community that, it doesn't matter what age you start, you can come up to the gym and just do what you can.”

This gym has been running for over ten years in Manurewa, and Vili knows all too well the challenges some parents face when it comes to paying for their kids to come to these classes.

He says, “We don't charge, you know, the kids whose parents can't afford.  If parents can afford to give something to helping us, you know, with the power and the water and that with our gym, we will take the koha that we get from the parents.”

Along with the support of The Trust Community Foundation and other businesses, these kids have a start in pursuing their dreams for the future.

Vili says, “To helping our tamariki in the community to keep them away from the streets and to keep them away from crimes.  Thanks to them for donating us stuff to make it happen.”

Cammy Subritzky-Vili says, “Get them away from all the negatives stuff like gangs, alcohol, drugs and keep them fit and live a healthy lifestyle.”