Lower Hutt's Naenae suburb is known as "struggle town" but the man who has made a different turning that perception around hopes his advice in the boxing ring can do the same for families in Flaxmere.
Motivational speaker and coach Billy Graham opened the Flaxmere Boxing Academy in Stordford Lodge, Hastings on Friday calling for the Hawke's Bay community to show its support for the new initiative.
"I was over the moon to come here today and I know this has been in the planning for a while. The most important thing is to get the support of your community and make sure you've got all the right people around you first."
Planning for the academy, headed by the Flaxmere U-Turn Trust, was largely based on Mr Graham's boxing academy in Naenae which he started about seven years ago, using sport to turn around the lives of young men.
U-Turn trust spokesman Henare O'Keefe and the academy's coach Craig McDougall convinced Hastings Mayor Lawrence Yule to visit the Naenae academy earlier this year.
"When Craig and Henare came to me, I told them the most important thing was to get their mayor on side. The next thing I know, they turn up in a car at my gym with the mayor of Hastings."
The Flaxmere academy started about eight weeks ago with 40 boys coming along to classes at various times of the week.
Mr Graham agreed the boxing skills were not to be used outside of the ring. But there were many spinoffs which would help develop the aspiring athletes to grow up to be better people.
"The discipline they learn is something which can be used anywhere else. Then there is the confidence they will gain from working with people like Craig, who I know from my gym in Lower Hut, and is a good man."
Mr Graham, a former New Zealand and Australasian light welterweight boxing champion said it was his life dream to open the boxing academy in Naenae.
His work there had attracted widespread support from private and government agencies and sponsors over the years. He hoped the same would apply for the Flaxmere academy.
"I had a Ford Transit van donated, which allowed me to take 12 boys to tournaments all over the country and that was really important ...
"The police, they are on board with us as well, we've got our schools and our local churches too."