Eli Wyse Youth Outreach Worker at Kw’umut Lelum teaches Indigenous youth the rewards of dedication and discipline through his unique boxing team
Eli Wyse is not a social worker. The 2018 Provincial, Golden Glove Champion, and BC International Boxing Representative was hired by Kw’umut Lelum to work with high risk Indigenous youth as an Outreach Worker. His job is to make connections with youth, provide mentorship and guidance, and help them to walk a good path.
Eli quickly realized that his love of boxing could be used to bring youth – particularly young men – together to help each other on their journey. He recruited four youth: Tristan Bob (Snaw-Naw-As), Billy Baker Jr. (Snuneymuxw), and Darius Edwards (Snaw-Naw-As) to become “Team Trouble”. Eli and co-coach Allen George train Team Trouble through heavy bags, circuits, sparing, focus pads, and drills twice a week at Force Boxing and Fitness in Nanaimo.
“From me and my own experience, nothing was better than punching wither it’s a heavy bag, box mitts or sparing these were the best moments I have had.” says Eli, “These young men are all great, and I am excited to see these guys staying consistent with their routine and for those who will, make the decision to one day fight”
Eli’s outreach approach is to teach patience and discipline; controlling anger and aggression by providing a physical outlet through boxing and training. But it also helps the youth to learn how to support each other as a team working towards a goal of physical excellence, or even possibly a career in boxing.
“This is not just about fighting” Eli shares. “Everything you do in life is earned, whether its finishing school or getting a job, it is all earned through hard work and dedication.” Eli gives these youth a space to experience the rewards of commitment and for them to set goals for their future.
“Everything is hard because it’s new to you, but it makes it not impossible to learn and overcome. Fighting is a teacher, and it takes confidence to transfer those skills and I am here to teach that to my kids”.