A giant game-changer in and out of the ring.
Craig McDougall packs a decent punch. His powerful fists landed him a national boxing title in 1998. Dogged and determined, he persisted through injury to garner his second NZ Boxing title, 5 years later.
Fast-forward to 2016 and Craig’s still gloved up. These days he’s a family focused fella, married to Vicki, with three young sons. Running the Giants Boxing Academy in Hawke’s Bay, Craig works hand-in-hand beside at-risk young people.
Family life is precious to Craig, but he appreciates it’s something that many youngsters don’t get to enjoy. The fighting world isn’t renowned for gentleness or kindness, but in the safe hands of Craig McDougall, boxing is a game-changer for the Giant’s Academy crew.
“All the boys at the Academy call me Coach. Whether coaching good boxers or good humans it’s all the same. It’s no different to me guiding our boys at home. It’s all about teamwork.”
He’s happy, to roll his sleeves up, and get his hands dirty. You’re as likely to find him cooking breakfast and helping with school lunches or playing hand-ball with his sons, as to witness him working in the gym, instructing weights, or teaching a youngster how to throw punches.
Craig loves the challenge of his work. Teaching and inspiring young people, to make their own choices, to be the best that they can be by creating ‘eye opening experience”.
This good man’s boxing hands may not be the prettiest in town, but they’re honest and strong. As he says,
“Hands are remarkable for what they can do. A simple hand-shake or encouraging pat on the back … You can instill change in a young person’s life with just one positive moment.”