Is boxing the new international language of happiness?

Photographer : Glenn Shieles. Copyright Owner Barbera Rizzeto (Used with permission).

K.A.P.O.W. Boxing, Gold Coast, Australia -18 Aug 2014 Photographer: Glenn Shieles. Copyright Owner: Barbera Rizzeto (Used with permission).


This is the first post, so please allow me a moment to introduce myself. My name is Tony Szymkowski. I have a passion for surfing, teaching and boxing. Currently I am studying to complete my Masters of Education – Teacher Librarianship, at the Queensland University of Technology. I work part-time as a teacher and full-time as a boxing /kickboxing coach. My dream is to become a qualified librarian.

Two nights ago, new guests arrived at my gym – K.A.P.O.W. Boxing, at Broadbeach, Gold Coast, Australia. The guests trained really hard, pounding the boxing bags, skipping and learning to dodge punches. The visitors were from England, Japan, Thailand, Brazil and Columbia. They were so happy at the end of the workout. They stayed another thirty minutes after the session, laughing and chatting to each other about the experience. Their happiness was so evident and it had me considering “ Is boxing the new international language of happiness?” That night, I slept on the question.

The next morning I woke with the answer …”No, it probably is not”… So what had really happened? The guests had found an interest they all loved and enjoyed sharing the experience in a safe environment. In actuality, they could have been doing any activity. So long as it was fun and each person liked it – it would have broken the language barrier and made each person happy.

There is a real thrill in finding others who share the same love for something that you do – especially if you can chat about your passion and laugh at your obsession. For today’s youth, popular culture – music, movies, games, novels, youtube – gives the opportunity to participate, talk about and share experiences from the safety of a laptop or mobile phone. On-line communities for young people allow social interaction that enhances intercultural understandings. (A topic I will consider in more detail, in my next post).

The aim of this blog is to provide a place for a discourse about Youth and Popular Culture. I would love to hear what you have to say.

So what is your passion?


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