Indigenous Boxing Team
INDIGENOUS AMATEUR BOXING TEAM
CULTURAL EXCHANGE TOUR OF FIJI
20 - 29TH OCTOBER 2007
[Team Sponsor - Vibe Australia]
THANK YOU AUSTRALIA
Total funds raised = $24,212.70 + [A HUGE EFFORT]
Firstly, on behalf of the AIAB Team & Management
we extend our heartfelt thanks to all of you who
helped us achieve our goal - we cannot thank you
enough. We raised over $24,000 + from donations
plus the contribution of accommodation & transport
provided by the Australian High Commission in
Suva [Australian Dept of Foreign Affairs &
Trade] for the team in Fiji during the tour. We
are all so overwhelmed by the level of support
and have proved there is nothing we can't do -
we are black proud and just too damm deadly!!
For further info on contributions go to
Secondly, I apologize for not getting this email
notice out sooner but we have all literally hit
the tarmac running. What can I say - our boys
were totally awesome and as Cultural Ambassador
I could not be more prouder of the way these young
warriors conducted themselves in and out of the
ring - they were true Indigenous Ambassadors for
our People & Country.
"Real strength is not just a condition of
one's muscle, but a tenderness in one's spirit"
As Aboriginal men, they looked after each other
and especially Timacoy, our youngest. I was impressed
by the respectfulness they had for each other
and the trainers and coaches and the way they
portrayed/carried their culture and respected
the culture of the Fijians. I am more than confident
that these young warriors will be more than "role
models" and young Leaders in their own respective
communities. As I said before, this tour was not
just about boxing or indigenous boxing but about
supporting the health and wellbeing of our People
- providing our youth with a healthy attitude,
pride and self-esteem - the ability to up-skill
themselves and more importantly to become role-models
and leaders for our next generation of youth so
that we develop a healthy and positive sustainable
cycle for our People. WE CERTAINLY ACHIEVED OUR
AIM AND THIS TOUR IS TESTAMENT TO THIS FACT.
Don Abnett the Head Coach on tour was very pleased
with the Tour results especially the attitude
each boxer took into each bout and more importantly
what they took out of it as well. Don is the Head
Coach from the AIS National Talent Indigenous
Development Program where many of the boys are
currently training from. I would like to take
this opportunity to personally thank Don and the
AIS for their contribution to this tour - their
contribution was invaluable and look forward to
continuing the association. We have so many good
young boxers in this country and would be great
if they all could benefit from the NTID program
sponsored by the Australian Sports Commission.
We won 19 from 20 fights with young Timacoy [our
youngest boxer] only losing by a split point decision
[we woz robbed!!] against an opponent who was
7 years older and much taller - he certainly did
not let his next opponent off in the 2nd tournament.
You can read more online with Rogan's Tour Updates
Before each tournament the Team performed a "Warrior
Dance" which they choreographed themselves
- it was so strong and powerful - the poor Fijian
Boxers did not have a chance after that.
The Team [including Management - even us oldfellas]
were treated like "Rock Stars" while
in Fiji. We had a lot of media exposure with a
Press Conference at the Australian High Commission
on our arrival with the Australian High Commissioner,
Mr James Batley introducing the team to Fiji which
was followed by interviews with Fijian TV - Radio
and Newspapers throughout the tour. The boys just
loved all the attention - especially from the
local females even the "she-men" which
was rather amusing!!!!
We have 6 of our boys from the team competing
in the Australian National Boxing Titles being
held in Brisbane in December [Mansfield Tavern
- 7-10th December] - so training is still continuing
for them and we wish them all the very best -
come along and support our young boxers.
Adrian Andrews announced his retirement from boxing
at the conclusion of the tour and we wish him
well with his new endeavours.
A Tour Report from Syl Johns the AIABT Manager
will be posted to the website [soon] which will
outline the direction for the AIABT and further
tours and events. I believe a tour of New Zealand
is being planned next year so "WATCH THIS
SPACE". A new website for AIABT is currently
being developed and will let you know when this
Just to conclude - I would like to thank, once
again, all of you who supported this tour and
our fundraising campaign whether you contributed
financially or lending your support and best wishes
- we thank you all very much - this tour could
not have happend without this support. It is amazing
what can be achieved if we all get together and
work together and put culture first. I have never
been so inspired than I have been during this
fundraising campaign and tour. Someone told me
very early in the campaign that it couldn't be
done and that maybe I was aiming too high. Well
for one, never tell a short little blackfella
not to aim too high!!! My father told me "son,
always aim for the stars - you may just hit the
moon". Well guess what - I have been to the
moon and back and there is absolutely NO reason
why we all can't be "moonwalkers".
FINALLY - we still have some framed Lionel Rose
boxing gloves for sale - great Xmas presents
- get online and order now!!
One more thing
If anyone [out there in cyberland] is interested
- Sammy Leone - one of our very talented boxers
is looking for sponsorship. Sammy is presently
preparing his portfolio & CV for presentation
and has asked me to help him with his quest to
secure a sponsorship. Sammy has just spent the
last month at the AIS [straight from the tour]
training his little black butt off - sacrificing
his wife and family to further develop his skills
whilst also completing a TAFE Certificate - if
anyone is interested you can please contact me
for further details. If anyone deserves this -
it is Sammy.
Munda-gutta - Kullawari
Ambassador AIABT 2007 Fundraising Campaign Manager
Aboriginal Art & Craft by Michael J Connolly
Sportsground Street [ PO Box 137 ]
(07) 3880 1320
(07) 3880 0479
from the start of the campaign
PLEASE I NEED YOUR HELP
I am the Cultural Ambassador for the Australian Indigenous Boxing Team and we are desperately trying to raise enough funds so these boys can participate in an International Cultural Exchange tournament with Fiji in October. Unfortunately the problem we face is that there is absolutely no support anywhere for National Indigenous Sporting teams. The Australian Sporting Commission only looks at "developmental" support - if you are a National Team then you are not developmental - so consequently no funding ALSO the Australian Sports Commission has advised that their funding guidelines, as set by the Dept. Communications Information Technology and the Arts, do not allow them to support Indigenous only teams or events SO WHAT CHANCE DO WE HAVE???? Plus having an amateur status you need a world ranking to get any Govt sponsorship. We need to raise approx $40,000 by 1st October or our boys miss out.
My idea is to ask 40,000 people for $1.00 each to support the team and we will have our funding - how hard can that be? We represent 2% of the Australian population which equates to approximately 500,000 Aboriginal & TSI People which is $500,000 so surely we can make our target of $40,000 +. This opportunity will give them the confidence and experience to be a real contender for the Olympic Team - this will be the stepping stone to the World stage. Already we have 5 boxers awarded NTID scholarships and currently training at the AIS
Many of these boys have given up drinking - given up smoking - given up taking drugs and committed themselves 100% to being a better person and have become truly great role models for the younger and upcoming players - nearly all of them now have jobs and working real hard both in the work force and in the ring and they have given me a pledge to keep on fighting and I have given them my pledge to do all I can to be able to get them to Fiji - to participate in an International Tournament - a valuable preliminary tournament to the Australian Olympic Boxing trials and believe me - these boys are ready for that Olympic ring.
All I am asking is the opportunity for our story to get some media attention so we can more attention to the fundraising and possible sponsorships/contributions. This is an Australian Indigenous Team with young indigenous boys from all over Australia so that.
Please can you run our story.
We need to have raised the money by 1st October to be able to confirm our participation - the biggest expense is the airfares to Fiji for 20 [13 boxers and 7 officials]. Can you please ring me for an interview or contact Syl Johns [AIABT Manager 0409091941].
This team is fully sanctioned by Boxing Australia.
Cultural Ambassador - AIABT 2007
Fundraising Campaign Manager
Authentic Aboriginal Art & Craft
by Michael J Connolly
63 Sportsground Street [PO Box 137]
REDCLIFFE QLD 4020
Tel: (07) 3880 1320
Fax: (07) 3880 0479
boxers raring to go - The Fiji Times
and Indigenous Media Directory