Wellsford Boxing Sports And Fitness
It’s been a good year for Fili Maka, founder and head coach at Wellsford Boxing Sports and Fitness. He won two awards at the New Zealand Nationals for Most Scientific Coach for Junior and Youth, and coached Tonga at the Commonwealth Games.
Wellsford Boxing has three current New Zealand champions, Tui Vea Elite 60kg, Onyx Lye, Junior 75kg, and Fili’s daughter Magan Maka, Elite 69kg.
Originally from Tonga, Fili founded Wellsford Boxing in 2010, which has been greatly appreciated by the community.
“There’s not much happening here all year round, most sports are seasonal. We keep youth out of trouble and keep kids and older people busy too. People from five to seventy-five train with us.”
Fili welcomes everyone from professional boxers to kids, teenagers, and PE-classes from the local colleges.
The gym also hosts classes for Blue Light, a charity that works in partnership with the police to deliver activities to youth, to encourage better relations between the police, young people, their parents and the community.
Assistant coach and police constable Shaz Glen runs the Blue Light classes, and trains the box-fit classes three mornings a week.
Fili runs kids boxing classes twice a week for ten to fourteen-year-olds. He says people come for different reasons – mental as well as physical.
“I have fighters who want to get in the ring and compete. One of the young boys training with me, Tui Vea, is the most promising fighter in the country. He is current NZ Elite 60kg and Golden Gloves Elite 64kg Champion.”
“But the majority are coming for their fitness. To lose weight, gain self-confidence and learn skills in the ring that translate to their whole life.”
“Some people bring their kids because they are bullied in school. But I don't train people to use their boxing to beat up their bullies, just to help them stand up for themselves.”
One of Fili’s favourite things is talking to parents, and it’s easy to understand why.
“Many are so happy to find something their kids enjoy doing, seeing how it changes their kids and grows their confidence.”