Deirdre Lack is not one to shy away from a challenge but her latest one is proving tougher than she expected.
The Te Puke police senior sergeant nearly died in a car accident in December 2010 but was back at work less than five months later and was competing in triathlons last year.
Now she has volunteered to be one of the competitors in the Te Aranui Youth Trust DARE to Fight for Youth charity boxing event in July.
She will be representing her gym, Oceanblue Health and Fitness Club, in a bout against Global Fitness trainer Laura Ecclestone.
Ms Lack said she was more than happy to take a few hits to support Western Bay youth.
"I'm very supportive of youth full stop," she said. "Youth don't get the opportunities that maybe we had and maybe they didn't have the family love that we had. I was given so many opportunities, it's nice to give back.
"They are our future. I'm putting my body on the line for them, I hope they realise that," she said, jokingly.
The competitors are already in their fourth week of training and are feeling the effects.
"It makes triathlon training look pretty easy. After week one I thought, 'Everything hurts my hands, my abs, everything'," she said. "It's just another challenge. I don't think I've ever sweated so much in my life. You find muscles you never knew you had."
Despite being a police officer, getting used to taking punches had been one of the harder parts of the training, she said.
She has seen her share of scuffles in the line of duty, but it had not prepared her for boxing.
Event organiser and Te Aranui Youth Trust operations manager Wendy Nicholls said the event was to raise money for the trust which ran the DARE, Blue Light and Police Youth Development programmes in the Western Bay of Plenty.
Twenty well-known locals will take part in 10 fights held on July 12 at the ASB Arena. None of the competitors had any previous boxing experience, but were being put through their paces by TKO Boxing Academy trainer Hemi Miha two or three times a week in the lead-up.
The aim was to raise $60,000, enough to fund the trust's programmes for the year.
The event pits natural community rivals against each other, she said. Local engineering firms will be facing off, firefighters will pit themselves against police and Ford will be up against Holden. Two volunteers are still needed to fill the final fight.
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