Primary school kids don the gloves
Pint-sized pugilists are being put through their paces at Gore's newest boxing club.
St Mary's School teacher Mallory Hood enjoyed boxing training at the Gore Boxing Club so much she decided to start a club for the pupils at school.
"I know some people are quite down on boxing and its reputation so I did some research on the benefits of it for kids. It's great for self-control, confidence and really good for co-ordination," Hood said.
With the backing of the principal and the board of trustees, the St Mary's Boxing Club, with about 60 members, was born.
Hood bought some of her own equipment along and gear had been donated from the Gore Boxing Club, parents and friends.
It received $1600 from the Kiwisport Contestable Fund to buy gloves.
"They love it. It's running four days a week at lunch times with four different age groups. The big kids are doing quite a lot of combinations and skills and the little ones are sticking to the old one-two."
It was "probably a bit unusual" for boxing to be taught at a Catholic primary school but it was important for the pupils to be provided with as many opportunities as possible, she said.
The club had the full support of the principal and the board of trustees, she said.
"They [the club members] know if they use it [their boxing skills] out of the gym they don't come back, they're just not welcome anymore."
Teachers had not noticed any playground punchups but the kids were quite keen to show off their "Rocky moves" when back in the classroom - just not on each other, she said.
Some of the children were showing some real talent with the gloves.
"There's a few of the older kids that are taking a real interest in it and getting really good."
The Southland Times