Newspaper article Tweed Daily News (Tweed Heads, Australia)

Boxer Fights for Kids; Digby Hildreth Reports

Newspaper article Tweed Daily News (Tweed Heads, Australia)

Boxer Fights for Kids; Digby Hildreth Reports

Article excerpt

"COURAGE Solves Everything" is the motto of the Kingscliff Boxing Stables, which formally opened its doors in Casuarina this month.

It's a saying that Stables owner/trainer Nick Midgley lives by, because he's had to dig deep to face up to life and fulfil his dreams.

Nick may seem scary - he's heavily muscled, tattooed and, naturally, useful with his fists - but talk to him and you see a gentle, smiley young man, grateful to at last have his life on track and be giving back to his community.

The Melbourne-raised 30-year-old admits to being a handful from an early age. At 13 he was main-lining heroin and at 14 was kicked out of home by his "tough love" parents.

For the next year he was homeless, struggling to survive on the mean streets of the big city. Magistrates sent him repeatedly to a detox clinic, but he wasn't interested. At 16, a mentor took the troubled teen to Sicily, where he stayed clean for two years.

Back in Australia he began to train and box seriously, building up to 75kg and becoming an impressive middleweight fighter. But Melbourne triggered his old habits and he found it difficult to stay clean. Even now, he says, whenever he visits the city, his heart starts to pound with a morbid excitement.

"I've made a lot of mistakes, especially being so young when I had my first son, Sasha. I had the option to do well in life, went to good schools; but I squandered a lot of those opportunities," he says.

Five years ago, Nick visited a friend in the Northern Rivers; he liked it here and stayed, going through The Buttery drug rehabilitation program.

He and his wife Danielle moved from Byron Bay to Kingscliff three years ago. The birth of a son, Theo, 11 months ago, was a catalyst for him to take real responsibility, Nick says.

Gaining custody of Sasha, aged nine, gave him further peace of mind and the opening of the boxing club marks another step in his journey of recovery. …

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