Despite being in lockdown, Kiwi UFC star Shane Young is still finding ways to give back.

Since getting his break in the UFC, Young has wanted to use his platform to try and make a positive impact.

In February 2019, after an impressive unanimous decision win over American Austin Arnett at UFC 234 in Melbourne, he used his post-fight speech to address New Zealand's high suicide rates. He has since gone on to advocate against toxic masculinity and bullying, and taking speaking engagements to help raise awareness of mental health issues and how to make a change in that area.

Now, with the country locked down, Young has offered help to those in need.

Shane Young last fought at UFC 234 in Melbourne last February. Photo / Getty Images
Shane Young last fought at UFC 234 in Melbourne last February. Photo / Getty Images

Young has linked up with the Bread Foundation for a $1000 challenge, in which he will compete against the charity's founder Mustafa 'Mussie' Sheikh, in a Call of Duty showdown on Sunday night, with the foundation putting up $1000 to donate to a struggling family.


Young said the money would go to one family who needed it and the charity was working alongside the police to identify candidates.

"For one family, $1000 can go quite a way," Young said.

Sheikh started the foundation after seeing friends struggle while he was growing up on the East Coast. On a weekly basis, the foundation - which is based in Auckland - goes into lower-decile schools to mentor students and help them participate in activities. Auckland Medical School volunteers also help.

"Based on what the students like, we then buy items for them," Sheikh explained. "For example, if a student likes basketball then we'll buy them shoes and a whole set to practise.

"The idea is to get them doing things they're passionate about to inspire their dreams. Our funding is designed to be super direct, through mentoring we really get to know the kids and then use the money based on their needs. We're all about maximising every cent to make the biggest difference. We don't take a cent as a salary or wage it all goes to the kids."

The foundation's programmes are Auckland-based, but they also venture further afield. In 2019, Sheikh and former All Blacks winger Nehe Milner-Skudder made a trip to the East Coast to speak to students.

The programmes are designed to help 18 students at a time, spread over a six-month period.

"We could spend one hour with 10,000 a year and make no difference. We're very focused on personalised approaches that really help the students," Sheikh explained.


Young isn't the only Kiwi UFC star to be doing something to help part of the community during the lockdown.

Middleweight champion Israel Adesanya Donating personal protective equipment (PPE) in Whanganui, Auckland and Lagos, Nigeria. The Government's official Covid-19 advisory website