Evidence of the impact the programme is having, is borne out by a wide range of testimonials as to the transformations being seen in the attitudes and lives of the Academy members and their families – please see a small selection as follows:
We have been so grateful for the time the Naenae Boxing Academy has put into our son since he joined just over 3 years ago. He really enjoys the fitness, strength and conditioning work that has seen him prosper in every other sport he is involved in. As a dad I am keen for him to take the next step and get in the ring and have a go. But that is a decision that I will let him make on his own. I have heard Billy say he would definitely be a handful for a lot of boxers if he were to get in the ring and I know he would rise to the occasion as well. That is why my hat goes off to you guys as well, the patience and the no pressure to make him get in the ring to fight at this stage is another great value about your club. He has definitely grown into a good confident leader on and off the field in his chosen sports and is always somebody who leads from the front whilst understanding the role of everybody else within the team. He has just been chosen for the Wellington Firebirds Development Squad in cricket and I know you guys are definitely part of the reason why he has made it.
D & S – July 2016
We have always wanted to put our boy into the Naenae boxing academy and couldn't wait for the chance when he was old enough, we were not on the list long and was eager to take the first opportunity, we have heard lots of great things before joining the academy but was impressed with the reputation it holds. my boy has been apart of the NBA whanau for only a term and we have watched him grow to be a reliable trusting young man, it is awesome to see him doing something he enjoys as he loves being apart of a team and loves to come home and share all of the interesting knowledge he learns from the academy,he is hoping to go further with the boxing which is very exciting as his interests grow with boxing each time he attends the classes, thank you NBA whanau for looking after my boy and we look forward to what the future holds for him with his boxing thanks to you all. FROM A PROUD MUM.
T - June 2016
Our son ? has been at NBA for a little over 2 years and during this time he has grown from strength to strength not only on a physical level but also mentally and moralistically. He’s become quite conscientious about healthy living and eating. The exercises from boxing has become a valued part of his healthy lifestyle. Early this year he got himself into a full time job, practically found the job on his own. He’s quite stringent on himself to work hard and to be punctual, always the first one to arrive at work. And during the short time that he’s been working he’s received 2 pay rises. To top it off he’s made so many good friends at NBA who all seem to be on the same growing plateau and all in support of each other.
Thank you to all NBA coaches and staff for all the wonderful work that you are doing and continue to do for all our boys. We are sincerely grateful.
D & J – June 2016
My son has been at NBA for almost a year now. Through this time his fitness has improved alot but the best part is his confidence is getting stronger each month that goes by. Since my son is alot taller than all of his friends and has more of a stocky build he has become a bit self-conscious of his body. But with coming to boxing and really working with his body he's understanding and accepting himself more. Since starting NBA he's now exercising with his dad and is getting fitter and loving it as its allowed him to go harder at his other sports as well which he loves.
NBA doesn't just focus on punching which is one of the reasons why we wanted him in NBA specifically, as we had heard such amazing things about them. They work with the kids mentally and physically, they encourage the kids to treat each other like a family unit and don't let the kids get away bad attitudes or aggressiveness which is exactly what boys need and just another thing that we appreciate.
NBA is helping our son get stronger physically and mentally and socially we really could not ask for more.
F – June 2016
"My son ? has been attending the NBA for two seasons now. Last year we took the Rugby Season off, as training was on at the same time both nights. The team at NBA were very helpful & even arranged to include him in the 'Fundamentals Group' while the rugby season was running. After analysing the season, ? made the decision that next rugby season, if a conflict arose again, he'd sacrifice playing rugby to continue training with Billy. I was interested to know the reasons behind his choice & he told me that as far as he was concerned he gets more out of boxing; that Billy & the other Trainers are always positive & encouraging, that he felt there was a real atmosphere of family & comradeship amongst all the boys training there & he was having more fun.
So this year ? stayed true to his decision & has carried on with his training at the NBA & is always keen to train, even when his Mum has to overrule him because he's sick. After training he comes to tell me how he went & what tips the trainers have given him. He's really enjoying himself & is looking forward to his first fight coming up.
I can't overemphasize how worthwhile we think the NBA's work is. ? has a positive attitude & his attitude to schoolwork has improved too. It's also great for ? to have other role models who're reinforcing the attitudes & expectations that we're trying to instill at home too."
? has had a tough time at quite a competitive school with a fair amount of bullying and taunting to contend with.
Since ? has been training at Naenae Boxing Academy he has become more confident, happier and healthier. He has been there for almost two terms and loves it.
I would never have imagined he would have the confidence to get into a ring and stand toe to toe with another young man during sparring. They spar with vigour, then shake hands, climb out of the ring together and start chatting like the best of mates despite the robust treatment they have just meted out to each other.
All the boys are nice, friendly and go out of their way to say hello and shake hands with everyone as they come in and leave. It was particularly heart warming when we first came to see the centre and, whilst waiting just inside the door watching the training in full swing, a boy of ?’s age came over and shook our hands. I would go so far as to say that such a friendly and welcoming gesture threw us both. From this very first moment we could clearly see that this academy stands by all it teaches and produces confident kind young men. This goes for the parents as well who all shake hands as they come in as well. There are no egos here which is very good.
The instructors are welcoming, encouraging, knowledgeable and make time for young man each night. The individual attention received during each training session means they learn something new every session. It makes it special. The ride home in the car is energised as ? tells us all he has done, how to punch and keep his guard up, how to move, how his skipping went, how his core exercises went and how his push ups need work. It’s great.
? finds it funny that when he first started training he was not sure he would like to get in the big ring; now he just hops in and gets on with it. He thinks its funnier that I have never been in a boxing ring yet he has.
It was raining last night as I came in to watch the sparring at the end of the training session so my glasses were misted up and I had to dry them. Without the glasses I could make out two lads in the ring sparring confidently and robustly. It was a lovely surprise to realise our ? was one of them as I put my glasses back on. This would have been unimaginable six months ago. Once again, when they had finished sparring, they shook hands, climbed out together and chatted like the best of mates. It was great to see!
It is a great mix of boys from a range of backgrounds who get guidance and mentorship on life skills, discipline, self control and a good attitude.
Great work by Naenae Boxing Academy and all of its supporters for making a big difference for these young men. Well done!
K – June 2016
Malo e lelei,
I'm ?'s older sister and I enrolled him into the program for fitness and also to keep him occupied besides having him come home and play games on his playstation. When he first started the program he would come home exhausted and started showing signs that he wasn't interested in continuing in the academy. I told him to give it another week to decide whether he wants me to pull him out permanently of the program or not. That was the last time I saw ? show any signs of disinterest in the academy again. I have noticed that he started to become conscious of the foods he would eat and also the portions. ?'s time so far at the academy has boosted his confidence and also energy. He has enjoyed spending time with his friends from Primary school and making new friends. He loves coming home and filling us in with all the fun he has had at training and also what he's learnt.
Thank you for taking good care of our boy
L – June 2016
My son started NBA in February 2016 and is in the fundamentals classes. He is 12 yrs old and now attends Naenae Intermediate. I his mother have lived in Naenae all my life, however, my son has not being able to attend any primary schools in our community because of the shared care arrangement I have with his father. Because of this, ? has not had the privilege of the same kiwi upbringing I had, growing up with kids in my community and making long lasting friendships - playing outside till dark, and having friends come over.
At home he was not interested in playing outside (he had no one to play with) so he played on his own, with lego, drawing, toys and gaming consoles. He also was not involved in any sports all throughout his childhood even though we tried, he lacked confidence in himself, and had no interest in any type of sport. In disappointment, I thought I had to accept the fact that maybe my son would never be interested in sport, and he would be the academic/geeky type.
However, for one whole year we encouraged him to join NBA in his year 7 of school, he was intimidated and scared but nonetheless we enrolled him anyway. Since he has been attending, he is enjoying the programme thoroughly, he is committed and turns up twice every week. He has taken responsibility for himself to make sure he has his work out gear and shows up on time without our help. To my surprise my son is VERY FIT, VERY CAPABABLE, COMMITED and DETERMINED to do well with his boxing - the NBA have bought out hidden talents in him. He has made many friends at NBA because it is a safe and respectable environment and friendship is encouraged.
We are honoured to have the privilege of him being able to take part in NBA and I believe my son in one of many that are most talented in his group. Without this programme my son may not have discovered his hidden talents, he'd have nothing else to do but hang out with his slightly older cousins getting up to mischief with drugs, alcohol, shoplifting and burglaries. All praises to this programme and to his amazing coach/life coach David.
M – June 2016
My son started the fundamentals class 10 months ago. The environment is very friendly and he's very happy to attend each class. I see his skills growing week-by-week. I'm amazed by how much his body changed! He now can run much faster, he's stronger and he's better in each sport activity he does. He tells me: "Mum, since I started the boxing Academy,I feel different: I feel better!". The benefits are not only physical: he persevere in everything he does, from sport to school, and this brings him great personal satisfaction increased a lot his self esteem. Thank you very much for all what you do for the kids and families within the Lower Hutt community.
S – June 2016
"This is the second year for us. As a person new to the NBA and to New Zealand the first year was one of unlearning some earlier teaching and getting to know the boys and the way things worked. A great deal of progress was made that year which has served as a great platform for the current year. This year there have been improvements at a number of levels .
As a now senior junior he has taken to that role positively and seriously. He has become more communicative inside and outside the gym and more positive in his outlook. He seems to listen better and not the least his technique is improving as he is practicing at home. Good job NBA I say!"
T – June 2016
Our son has been at the academy for two terms and plans to continue because he’s really enjoying the experience.
? has enjoyed meeting and making new friends amongst the wide range of boy at the academy.
? seems to have thrived in the structured environment, and appreciates the direct feedback that he gets at training.
I have also noticed a small increase in his self-confidence and a little more willingness to assert himself.
Keep up the good work.
M – July 2016