A Whanganui woman is a keen to share a sporting experience that changed her life dramatically three years ago.
Emily Kara is promoting a corporate fight night at Franks Bar and Eatery on May 12 and is confident participants will enjoy the same life-changing experiences.
"I'm keen to payback after embracing an experience that changed my life three years ago," Kara said.
"In 2015, I was a mother of two young children — and I still am — who part-owned a bar. My focus was on live music and selling alcohol, which led to drinking and late night socialising every weekend while my kids spent time with their dad. I was also a heavy smoker.
"When the offer of entering a corporate fight night against a bartender from a rival pub came, I grabbed it with both hands and my mandatory eight-week training programme began. During that time I gave up smoking and alcohol," Kara said.
The real benefits kicked in immediately and have continued today.
"I found the training programme and subsequent improving fitness levels gave me focus and direction in life. I have continued training and have chosen to immerse myself in the mixed martial arts scene, but not everyone needs to follow exactly in my footsteps.
"As long as they realise that fitness and exercise are essential ingredients for a healthy lifestyle and that they are likely to be life-long. My experience has inspired me to share. I'm really keen for others to embrace the life-changing experiences I have. It has positive spin-offs with almost everything I do."
Kara's fight night will feature up to eight amateur boxing bouts with relative novices in the ring.
The night will also be a fundraiser for an injured fellow mixed martial arts fighter and his young family.
On December 16 last year, Wellington mixed martial arts fighter Ra "Razor" Redden was involved in a freak accident that left him with serious spinal injuries.
While competing in a Muay Thai bout he fell awkwardly fracturing and dislocating vertebrae which put pressure on his spinal chord.
"Ra has since undergone surgery and has been transferred to the specialist rehab unit at Burwood in Christchurch. He is a two-time New Zealand champion and a real family man with a fiance and a five-year-old son.
"I am keen to put some of the proceeds of the fight night toward Ra's long road to recovery," Kara said.