Hunting for home
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.