Never Surrender – More than a boxing club in Thames

Written by on August 18, 2022

We recently published a couple stories about the problem of violence and specifically young people involved in violent incidents in and around Thames. It was in response to Goldfields Mall manager and Mayoral candidate John Freer being attacked in the mall. We followed the story with another one concerning young children being approached in Thames and asked to fight at a play ground.  These children were aged from 7 upwards and their career was terrified by what happened.

In this story John Freer was quoted as saying that there needed to be more for young people to do and he gave an example of the Billy Graham, Naenae Boxing Academy.

A comment left on our website from Andrew Connaughton got our attention. This is what he said;

Please let John know that Thames does have a not-for-profit boxing and fitness club called Never Surrender. We currently run classes three times a week for our communities tamariki and rangatahi. We offer these classes on a free to access basis. These classes attract over 90 attendees per session. We offer our classes on a free to participate basis, ensuring those most in need have a place to go. We have many success stories, we boast the NZ Super Middleweight Champion, also the first female to medal in boxing for NZ, was Tasmyn Benny, a local girl from our club. We have countless positive stories of youth that prosper under our tutelage. We would welcome an opportunity to chat with John and show him how the council can help

Up to that point we were not aware that a boxing academy called Never Surrender actually existed in Thames. So together with John Freer, we arranged to meet them. They are truly a very inspiring and motivated group of people doing a tremendous amount of good in the community.

Today we introduce the first of a series of videos on this club highlighting who they are, what they do and the challenges they face in running their club. In this first video Jason Myatt, CFM’s GM Programming and Breakfast announcer speaks with Andrew Connaughton and Shaun George from Never Surrender.

Reader's opinions
  1. Des Wilson   On   December 11, 2023 at 8:42 am

    does your club have any historic records of boxing going back into the 1890/1930s.
    my grandfather supposedly was involved in boxing in Thames.
    his name was Edward earnest Wilson.
    the family have a little shield that he is meant to have won boxing. it was pinned to his suit on his wedding day.
    any help and or advise would be appreciated.
    Des Wilson

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