Newspaper Article 2008 – Tribute to young boxing star

Tribute to young boxing star

Alister Thomson

The tragic death of Hastings youth boxer Mitchell Te Ngahue has cut short what could have been a great career in boxing, his former coach says.

The 12-year-old died after the motorcycle he was riding was in collision with another motorcycle on the family’s Waiwhare farm northwest of Hastings just after noon on Sunday.

He was revived at the scene by paramedics but died later that day at Hawke’s Bay Hospital.

John Healey, who coached the youngster at the Hastings Boxing Club for two years, said he had a “tremendous amount of potential”.

He heard about the tragedy when the boy’s father, Gibby, called him.

Mr Healey said the young boxer had achieved much in his short life, winning the Manawatu and New Zealand titles this year in the 34kg class.

The previous year he had made the final of the North Island Golden Gloves tournament.

Mr Healey said the youngster had the heart of a champion.

“It was the start of what I was hoping would have been a great career.”

He described him as the happiest boy he had the privilege to teach.

“When he walked through the doors of the gym, the first thing we got was a beaming smile,” Mr Healey said, adding he was well liked by everyone at the club.

“When he was away sick or at a camp, the first thing everyone would say was ‘where’s Mitchell?’ He was that noticeable by his absence.” The youngster was a “normal farm boy” who enjoyed hunting and being outdoors.

A celebration of his life will be held at Napier Baptist Church on Riverbend Rd at 2pm tomorrow.

Photo caption – UP AND COMING: Mitchell Te Ngahue 10 days ago when he received his gold medal.

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Date published

14 October 2008

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Newspaper article


Hawke's Bay Today


Published with permission of Hawke's Bay Today


  • John Healey
  • Gibby Te Ngahue
  • Mitchell Te Ngahue
  • Alister Thomson

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