Hunt­ing for home

Feilding-Rangitikei Herald - - Front Page - SAM KILMISTER

A box­ing club that turned Shane Cameron into a world-beater and helps trou­bled youths get back on track is about to be home­less.

The Schus­ter Box­ing Club in Feild­ing is the lat­est vic­tim in the earth­quake-prone build­ing saga in the Manawatu¯ town, as it is forced to va­cate its home of 30 years.

The club, which coached Cameron as an ama­teur, is on the hunt for an­other space so it can con­tinue work­ing with trou­bled youth to turn their lives around.

The club has homed it­self in one of Man­feild’s old grand­stands since 1987, but it will soon be de­mol­ished, and coaches Filipo Saua and Colin McAsey will be out in the cold by the end of the month.

The old grand­stand is one of sev­eral build­ings in Feild­ing that will be de­mol­ished be­cause it costs too much to bring them up to match earth­quake-proof stan­dards.

Saua said the club had a rich his­tory, hav­ing trained sev­eral box­ers who be­came New Zealand cham­pi­ons.

Cameron – the club’s sig­na­ture fighter – turned pro­fes­sional while work­ing un­der Henry Schus­ter and still with the Feild­ing gym. He has a record of 29 wins and five losses.

More im­por­tantly, though, the gym has changed young peo­ples’ lives, Saua said.

They would turn up with gang af­fil­i­a­tions and anger prob­lems, but box­ing gave them struc­ture, rules and re­spect.

Box­ers in his gym are not al­lowed hats, chew­ing gum and gang colours, and must wear a shirt. But the most im­por­tant rule is not us­ing their fight­ing skills on the street.

‘‘A lot of the guys these days don’t know a please and a thank you.

‘‘They don’t need a long speech – just some­thing as sim­ple as a ‘thank you coach’ on the way out.’’

Box­ing has a spe­cial place in Saua’s heart. He was a bully at school and be­came an ‘‘an­gry guy’’, but tough coach­ing taught him to be­come hum­ble.

Af­ter only four fights, Saua was forced to re­tire due to a heart con­di­tion.

‘‘It taught me a please and thank you.’’

Now, the duo are search­ing for a place to hold their twice-weekly ses­sions, and re­lo­cate their 5 square-me­tre ring and hand­ful of punch­ing bags.

If you can help, con­tact Filipo Saua on 029 254 3206.


The Schus­ter Box­ing Club is on the hunt for an­other space in the town, so it can con­tinue help­ing trou­bled youth turn their lives around. Pic­tured is the club’s coach Filipo Saua.

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