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At-risk youth fight to succeed with boxing

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Langara aboriginal studies student Dave Robinson at the north Burnaby Boxing Club where he coaches

Langara aboriginal studies student Dave Robinson will be presenting the benefits of boxing for youth at risk at the National Aboriginal Physical Activity Conference.

The NAPAC is a two day networking and educational conference that promotes the values of physical activity in Aboriginal communities.

Robinson, 29, has been a boxing coach for 11 years and has had 88 amateur fights of his own.

Robinson recently retired as the current BC Super Middleweight Champion, and hopes to share his positive experiences with youth and others attending the conference.

Boxing as an aboriginal sport

“Boxing is an aboriginal style of sport because a lot of boxing knowledge is only passed down through oral traditions,” said Robinson. “You have to be mentally stable, have a positive, healthy physical presence and you need to use your intellectual benefits to better yourself.”

The physicality of boxing, although extremely beneficial, is not the main attraction to the sport. The mental and emotional benefits gained are just as good, if not better in terms of motivation and confidence.

Robinson describes boxing as a way to regain a good path in life, which he has seen in friends and students.

“A lot of changes [happen] inside boxing clubs, it`s a really good thing for them,” said Robinson.

An open door gym

He believes in always having an open door at the gym.

Having both male and female dynamics along with active youth involvement makes that possible.

“The boxing gym itself creates a safe space for kids even if they don’t feel good about their life outside the gym,” said Robinson.

“They have a safe place here where they can express themselves, [and] feel good about what they’re working towards.”

Sharing the stage with a legend

The conference will be held at the University of British Columbia in the  Woodward Building from Feb. 21 to the 22nd.

Robinson will be given a 50 minutes to speak in front of the aboriginal community, along with three other boxing enthusiasts, in a session titled ‘The Benefits of Boxing’.

Robinson will share the podium with Roger Adolph, an aboriginal boxer who holds a place in the Canadian boxing hall of fame.

Robinson stresses the importance of developing more physical  activity programs for youth, especially aboriginal youth.

Reported by Brenna Brooks

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