Veteran boxer sets example for Moorabbin kids

June 22, 2013 by  

A former featherweight boxer has been demonstrating the importance of a healthy lifestyle to young athletes in Moorabbin by sticking to a strict training regime at the age of 86.

Despite his age, Ken Whiffen still throws jabs and uppercuts while shadowboxing to warm up at the Moorabbin Boxing Gym. Many years ago, Whiffen was a successful fighter, and still retains the aura of an old pro.

Whiffen trains regularly at the gym, which is located in the Moorabbin Fifth Scout Hall, where he is surrounded by young boxers wanting to learn the ropes. He started boxing more than 70 years ago under the tutelage of champion Australian boxer Bert Jones.

Despite offers to fight in America, he dedicated his time as a sparring partner to some of the great fighters of the 1940s and 50s. As a handy footballer, Whiffen also became head trainer for St Kilda Football club; a relationship that has lasted for almost half a century.

These days Whiffen’s skills help struggling kids find their feet in the boxing ring. Moorabbin Youth Services worker Tony Keenan directs troubled teens to the gym under the tutelage of Whiffen, with results in self-esteem and discipline evident. Utilising boxing as a tool to deal with aggression issues has proved successful, with a dozen young people reaping the rewards thus far.

The help on offer at the gym is also publicised regularly with the help of local printing companies. Flyer and poster printing is often used to raise awareness in the area.