Nearly 20 awards were given out at Te Awamutu Boxing Academy's first prize giving last week following its opening earlier this year.

The boxing academy had been in the pipeline for two years and launched its first programme in Term 3 this year after securing a building to operate from.

The programme started with just 10 Year 7 and 8 boys but has since rapidly grown to accommodate four classes catering for girls and boys from a junior level right up to Year 11.

"Over the last two terms these students have applied themselves fully to improving their fitness, perfecting their skills and memorising and applying the values that underpin the purpose and vision behind the initiation of this boxing academy," said head coach Chris Graham.

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About 130 people attended the first prize giving. There were four age and gender award categories and within each there was an award for the most improved, the most promising and the top personality.

Six gym trophies were also given out including the Billy Graham Youth Foundation, Heart of the Gym trophy that went to Curtis Harris-Martin for exemplifying the values and attitudes of the foundation.

From left, Te Awamutu Boxing Academy manager Erinna Lane, Acting Waikato District Commander Andrew Mortimore, challenge coin recipient Curtis Harris-Martin and coaches Chris Graham and Quentin Wallace
From left, Te Awamutu Boxing Academy manager Erinna Lane, Acting Waikato District Commander Andrew Mortimore, challenge coin recipient Curtis Harris-Martin and coaches Chris Graham and Quentin Wallace

This trophy was presented by the founder of the foundation, Australasian boxing champion Billy Graham.

The Te Awamutu boxing academy is modelled off of the foundation's boxing programme which is also running throughout five other boxing academies across the country.

Curtis also received the Police Commissioner's coin.

"Curtis was a very popular recipient, although very excited about his selection for these two awards was obviously also very humbled and overwhelmed by these two prestigious awards," said Chris.

Acting Waikato District Commander, Andrew Mortimore, presented Curtis with the challenge coin on behalf of the Police Commissioner for demonstrating the values of the Te Awamutu Boxing Academy and the New Zealand Police.

Andrew said the Police and in particular Te Awamutu's youth aid officer, Senior Constable Scott Miller, have a strong and growing relationship with the staff, coaches and mentors with the Te Awamutu Boxing Academy.

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"As an organisation, Police recognise it is important to support youth so they can make a valuable contribution to family life and their community."

"The academy gives these young people a sense of belonging and an ethos of hard work through training with disciplines and values that underpin their work," said Andrew.