Topic: Boxing

Hawke's Bay boxing coach wins national Community Spirit award

By Aroha Treacher
  • North Island: East Coast

Every week, Hawke's Bay local Shaun Rankin takes a group of kids for free boxing classes in two of the poorest parts of the area, Camberley and Maraenui.

“I would've loved to have done boxing as a kid if I had the opportunity, so being able to give it to them, they seem real happy when they walk out of here,” says Rankin.  

Boxing pupil, Manaia Rangihuna says, “I enjoy all his skills that he teaches me, at first I didn't know anything about boxing but when my dad told me about it I decided to go with my sister.”

Rankin knows first-hand the struggles of living in a poor community.  Coming from a rough upbringing, Rankin says he just wants to do his bit for these communities.

Another boxing pupil is Richard Rukupo, he says, “The most thing that I like about him is the skills he's taught me, like defending myself.”

With a background in martial arts, it was only natural for Rankin to pass his skills and knowledge onto the future generation.

"I had parents come up to me and tell me that their behaviours are better at home and it will be because they're burning off all their energy," says Rankin.

Rankin was recently given the Community Spirit Award as part of the National Pride of New Zealand awards, but says he doesn't do it for the recognition.