Monty Betham is presented with a Victory Boxing Club hoodie by Paul Hampden when he visited the gym last week. Photo: Andrew Board.

Monty visits Victory boxers

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Boxing royalty dropped in on the Victory Boxing Club last week as former boxer and Warriors rugby league captain, Monty Betham, passed on some of his knowledge to local boxers and administrators.

Monty was brought to Nelson by Scott Gibbons, who was successfully trained by the former boxer for last year’s Fight 4 Victory event. He spent the day working with young boxers, members of the Richmond Rabbits rugby league team and staff of Gibbons Construction. Monty says it was great to see the gym, that was developed as a result of the Fight 4 Victory.

“I’m very proud of what the guys are doing. Paul Hampden and Barry Galbraith and this organisation, they’re doing it for the love of it and for the love of the community. That’s something I do back home so I understand how hard it is for these guys, so I was keen to lend my support.”

He says the impact of a community-minded boxing gym is enormous, and he’s seen huge results in his gym in Auckland. “Sometimes in team sports you can fly by without going through the hardships yourself, and the good thing about boxing is that you can’t wing it. So what they’re doing here is perfect, it’s the kind of love that the kids need and they will pass that love on and feel better about themselves.”

Victory Boxing Club’s programme director, Paul Hampden, says having Monty in town was a great opportunity to pick his brain.

“It’s great to get people like Monty involved, because he works along similar lines to us with the youth, so he’s a great guy to have on board. We’ve been sharing ideas and working together. We’re always trying to improve what we’re doing and improve our programme, so having someone like Monty involved is great.”

The club has continued its growth since the new gym was finished last winter. It now has 100 kids on its books and around 25 adults regularly training. Paul says the club still relies on volunteer coaches to make it work but the club is focused on its long term strategy.

The club’s major fundraiser, Fight 4 Victory, is still to confirm a date, but Paul says early June is looking to be a likely fit.