Boxing foundation brings hope to farming pupils

Western Cape middleweight boxing champion, Jami Webb, and his manager, Leroy Williams, with some of the young fighters they train at the new Fight Hub Boxing Foundation. They held a media launch at Zevenwacht Wine Estate last Saturday. Picture: Lonwabo Marele

A group of young pupils from the northern suburbs have been given a fighting chance in life with the launch of the Fight Hub Boxing Foundation at the Zevenwacht Wine Estate a fortnight ago.

Led by the Western Cape junior middleweight champion Jami Webb and his manager Leroy Williams, the duo’s vision is to develop boxers from the farm and surrounding areas.

More than 10 years ago while laying in bed, Webb had a dream of owning a boxing gym. He had no idea where to go or what to do but he knew he would make it happen.

A couple of months ago while going for his morning run in the farms, he saw a young girl sitting under a tree and for a second he thought she was smoking. To his surprise, she was using her phone to connect to wi-fi to do her homework.

“I always tell people I want to do something. I just want to give back. I am honoured to do so… It is to give the kids a different life,” said Webb.

During a catch-up session with his long-time friend and manager, Williams, it turned out their minds were in sync. For quite some time, Williams had the idea of starting a foundation.

“This is a labour of love. A mission that is etched in our hearts. It is a lifeline for these incredible kids,” said Williams.

They got in touch with the owner of Zewenwacht Wine Estate, Denise Johnson. The idea of ploughing back into the community moved them.

“I feel very privileged to stand here today. I thank Leroy and Jami for bringing the Fight Hub Foundation to Zevenwacht. I really believe the example they set for the children will make a huge difference in their lives,” said Johnson.

Webb and Williams went back to speak to the emotional parents who were grateful to see their children being given an alternative option. They have pupils from as young as eight years old, training on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

The foundation, a registered non-profit company, received a hall to clean and start their training sessions. As they cleaned, Williams noticed a sign of camaraderie growing among the young collectives.

“We are not just here to tell a story but to ask for help,” said Williams.

The young boxers shadow-boxed with the provincial champ, Webb, last Saturday morning during a media launch, showcasing their skills and affirming to the Boxing SA provincial manager, Mzoli Tempi and the people in attendance that their time to step into the ring is around the corner.

“I am honoured to be here. This is one of the greatest things I will say I was proud to be a part of. As Leroy has said, it is not only about boxing, it is about building people, about using boxing as a tool. If one follows the history of most boxing champions, most of them come from poor backgrounds. Boxing has always been a tool to build a better life,” said Tempi.

While preparing for his boxing match against Darrin Rossouw up in Johannesburg this coming Friday, Webb said, in the near future, with the help of the public, they are hoping to open the centre five days a week, to employ a full-time trainer and to have a computer lab with wi-fi connection in the training hall to help pupils do their school work.

Fight Hub Boxing Foundation’s Leroy Williams and Jami Webb say the mission is to grow the next generation of boxers while also grooming leaders in society. Picture: Lonwabo Marele
Western Cape junior middleweight champion Jami Webb with Kaylee Roberts at the Fight Hub Boxing Foundation’s media launch day in Kuils River on Saturday. Picture: Lonwabo Marele
Boxing manager, Leroy Williams with the provincial champion, Jami Webb. They founded Fight Hub Boxing Gym, a non-profit company teaching children from farms in Kuils River the art of boxing. Picture supplied.