Former boxer Gordon “Lightfoot” Adams wants youngsters to get in the ring to find direction in life and KO social ills on the Cape Flats.
Adams, who boxed professionally in the lightweight division across South Africa in the 1970s and 1980s, wants to teach the sport to the youth.
He grew up in Bonteheuwel and says he knows how easy it is for children in a poor neighbourhood with high unemployment to end up on the wrong side of the law.
He plans to revive the Duinefontein Youth Boxing Academy in Manenberg, which he started in 2013 but it was floored by a lack of funding.
The club will run out of the Bonteheuwel community centre and be open, for free, to boys and girls older than 13, on Mondays and Thursdays, from 5pm to 7pm.
Adams was 17 when he started boxing at the Duinefontein community centre in Manenberg with his friends.
“Myself and friends were competing in amateur matches, and then we heard that we would be training at the club in Loop Street in 1979, and there the coaches started speaking about professional-boxing matches. From there, I entered competitions and fought in 30 matches.”
Adams says there are many young people with potential, but they need motivation and mentoring.
He believes boxing can give them that.
“When I walk past the guys smoking and drinking on the corners, I ask them why don’t they stop this and they say they have nothing to do, this is how they pass the time.
“So through boxing they can learn a skill and travel abroad with it and see life out there. I am tired of seeing these guys mess up their lives.”
For more information, call Gordon Adams at 072 545 3037.