Dedication brings rewards in and out of the ring
STUART Stone's boxing-based community work is proof that tough love can pay dividends.
Considering he's been running the Murwillumbah Boxing Club for 17 years, you could say Stone's a bit of an expert on the matter.
Despite his long-time presence in the gym, the club's president has been training his boys relentlessly, pushing for a steady progression towards boxing, and personal, greatness.
And the results speak for themselves.
At the Condong Bowls Club fight night last Saturday six out of seven of Stone's fighters retreated to their corners victorious.
And the jewel in the metaphorical crown was a win by club veteran Mick McAndrew, who outpointed 71kg champion Josh Paasch in a unanimous judges' decision.
Stone couldn't be more proud.
"The boys have been training hard and the harder they train the better they go," he said.
"Some of the guys have been here for a while and once you get to a certain level you've just got to up your game.
"I was very proud of all of them, they all went well."
Stone said about 20 up-and-coming boxing proteges usually showed up to sweat it out during Tuesday and Thursday afternoon training sessions.
"Boxing's a tough sport and I'd say it's maybe too hard for some of the younger fellas today," he said.
"But really, I treat the guys as a family and everyone works together for the club.
"We put the ring together and we take it down together. We always work together."
Stone has worked to pull troubled kids off the street for years by giving them a purpose in life and something to aim for.
And he's always astounded with the difference it can make.
"We've got a lot of kids whose grandparents and mums and dads bring them in now. I've had a dad in each corner supporting their 12-year-old sons," he said. "It's just great to see them get up in front of a crowd of 250 people and get into it."
Stone is always pleased to see his team advance further in their personal endeavours through self-discipline gained from time in the ring.