LEE TEPUIA – LEADING A MINI REVOLUTION

Lee Tepuia’s dream is coming true and that dream is having a significant and positive impact on particularly youth from the town he lives, Blenheim in New Zealand.

The former bikie, deported from Australia five years ago despite having been found not guilty of committing any crime, set up Box On Boxing Blenheim when he and his family moved back from Perth.

The difference a day makes

What started as a dream to run his own boxing gymnasium and help at risk youth began with two or three customers in his garage. It has since blossomed to the stage now where last weekend Lee opened his own gymnasium and has nearly 150 customers coming to him not only to learn boxing but to get fit, both of which in turn improves their mental health and esteem.

UNLOCKING POTENTIAL Lee TePuia during a workout this week in his new gymnasium

Born in Christchurch, the 45 year-old grew up in Blenheim from the age of eight, in an area known locally as the ‘Bronx’. Life was tough for Lee and when he got a bit older he joined the Rebels Motorcycle gang.

He and his family including wife Ang moved to Perth where they lived for 12 years until Lee was arrested on his way to work as a carpet layer and thrown into a maximum security prison then a detention centre and eventually deported, despite having not having committed any crime.

Lee did it tough in custody, separated from his family and suffered serious mental health issues including severe depression.

Coming back to New Zealand was tough at the time, particularly on his children who had their friends and strong sporting involvement in Perth.

However instead of being angry and negative about what happened to him, Lee used it as a powerful motivation tool to chase his dream of getting his own boxing gymnasium and helping people who were going through tough times like he did.

Physical as well as mental health benefits.

Almost immediately he knew he was onto something special because the response was only positive and very quickly the numbers attending his sessions, now in his new boxing gymnasium in Moran St, are through the roof and building.

In a town with a high youth suicide rate, Lee said he can see the difference these classes have made almost straight away on people who come for help.

As he said once you tap into someone’s motivation their attitude very quickly becomes more positive, their self esteem improves and their behaviour improves with it.

People from all walks of life join up young and old, male female and he’s getting great satisfaction at seeing people’s lives improve.

Lee has already become a community hero for many with his work which also helps him along the way too, giving him great satisfaction and pride. Lee mentioned the great work and support of his committee without who he said he couldn’t run the programmes.

"Something here for every one "

This story is ongoing and we are extremely proud to report on it at AbsolutelyFamous and the fact Lee has now got his own gymnasium with just a small funding from Sports Tasman is amazing.

Listen to my (John Alexander) interview with Lee earlier this week and if you live in Blenheim and you are struggling yourself with mental health issues, motivation or a lack of fitness or your kids are struggling, go and see Lee and the crew at Box on Boxing Blenheim and it will most likely be one of the best moves you make.

Everyone is welcome whatever level of fitness.

Interview & Story by John Alexander | Supporting Images sourced by Absolutely Famous.

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