Updated: Jan 31, 2021
First contact with the Baarkandji boys Boxing
I worked as a butcher in the plaza and after work I coached boxing at a local youth club for 15 years.
We participated in many tournaments over South Australia new south wales and Victoria and time after time I would see many natural talented young aboriginal lads I thought I would like to train sum of these lads.
One day at work 5 young aboriginal boys walked past the butcher shop I called them over and gave them a piece of fritz and asked them to come to the local youth club and train boxing with me I told them that I would look after them it was good to see them turn up that night.
For the next week or so the boys turned up at the plaza looking for me and to get there fritz even something as simple as this became a problem for sum other shop owners watching them like hawks, it didn’t take long until I was approached by the plaza management that told me that I wasn’t to encourage them to the plaza.
I had to explain to the boys that this was my work and lively hood and that they would have to wait up at the youth club for training the boys understood and then started waiting at the club but having no sense of time the lads were there hours before training club management wouldn’t allow them in the club until I was there so the boys would then wait in the park next door. It wasn’t long before I realized that I was having a positive influence on these young lads and them upon me. I was teaching them something that they enjoyed and something they must have felt they needed within their community the art of self- defence. Things were going good more and more aboriginal lads were attending and integrating with the non-aboriginal lads but the pressure was being applied behind closed doors not everyone thought these kids deserve a chance. Club management started coming up with resolutions all plans to stop this activity from happening things such as all kids must be members all kids must be transported on and of the premises not allowed in the games room must have 1 supervisor every 8 kids must stay out in the boxing area not allowed to use the lights on the oval instead of helping club management was more proactive in how to sabotage any activities that the aboriginal young people were involved in
We overcome all these obstacles by paying and registering all 50 aboriginal young people. We borrowed a bus and started transporting all young people on and of the premises two trips both ways my wife, brother in law, and sister in law, and some family members of the young people all started to help supervise the group