When I was younger, I was always on the road getting into trouble and my parents getting complaints. To be honest, when I joined Fight for Peace in 2017 it was because I wanted to fight.
But boxing has allowed me to see something else: that I actually have something inside me, some potential. Being at Fight for Peace, winning fights and making people proud has made a total change in my life.
When I heard that I was going to Chile, to represent the experiences of youth like myself, it took this feeling to another level. I remember on my way there just thinking to myself that I wanted to make use of this opportunity and be open to the world.
Fight for Peace and boxing opened up a new world to me
The first night there was just getting to know the youths from other countries. I started showing one person from my dorm boxing. He was catching on so well and then a girl wanted to learn. Then the whole block wanted to learn, so I carried everyone outside.
Right there and then, in the dark and in the cold, I was teaching all these people boxing! I felt like I was winning, achieving my goal of teaching and being right where I wanted to be in life.
I went to Chile for one thing, to take part in this conference, and it changed my life. The morning after I came back, I woke up seeing myself in the news. Mommy ran into the room shouting, “You’re in the newspaper!”
Being a role model for other students and youths
Since then, every time I walk around in the community I’m like a young celebrity. All the other youths in the community want to do boxing; and at Kingston High School, I’ve started motivating my fellow students.
The other students see the progress in me, because that’s the thing about kids, they want to see progress that they can be a part of. If not, they will do it just for a week and then stop. But if they can see it progressing further then they will want to keep going.
I don’t look at Fight for Peace and boxing as a sport. This is bigger, this is a family we can be a part of, to have a future with. After I leave school, I would love to become a soldier but that is not where it stops for me. I want to start my own programme – to give back to my community and kids. I can see myself being in a position to help those in need, like I was in need when Fight for Peace came along.
Tavoy from Fletcher’s Land, Kingston is a boxing participant with UNICEF partner Fight for Peace. He was chosen to represent Jamaica at the First Regional Dialogue of Latin America and the Caribbean ‘On the Road to Equality’: 30 years of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, held in Santiago Chile, November 27-29, 2018.