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A new program at Casey RACE is using sport to steer Casey’s youth onto the right track – and last week, they had one of Australia’s best boxers on hand to inspire them.
Two-time IBF world champion boxer Sam “King“ Soliman, a previous student of the Conquest Athletic Performance program trained with youth at Casey RACE last Friday 1 September.
Aimed at youths aged from 14 to 30, Casey RACE will be the primary training facility hosting the program to help steer youth who aspire to be top performance athletes.
Conquest Athletic Performance was founded 11 years ago by former top-level rugby player David Tuinauvai who developed the training academy to assist young, predominantly Polynesian males by providing support and guidance with the aim of directing them away from the street and into sport.
“We keep the kids in the gym, which is a healthy environment rather than out on the streets where they could make bad choices. At age 16 and 17, some kids need to decide which way they want to go with their lives. We help them direct their energy towards the gym,” Mr Tuinauvai said.
Mr Tuinauvai said Conquest Athletic Performance was much more than a training academy and the aim of the program was not only to enhance the fitness of participants, but also to grow them as people.
“It’s often their second family and makes them feel like they belong somewhere. In the end, I’d rather they leave a better person than a better athlete.”
Casey YMCA has partnered with Conquest Athletic Performance to deliver the high performance training programs to young, aspiring athletes from all cultural and sporting backgrounds, with Endeavour Hills Leisure Centre also involved.
The program has grown to cover a number of sporting codes including rugby union and league, AFL, martial arts and several disciplines of athletics. It suits both amateur and professional athletes.
Mr Tuinauvai said Casey RACE would support the high-performance training of his athletes, which will start with about 25 participants working towards taking their performance to the next level.
“Our athletes are able to utilise the many valuable services that the YMCA offers, such as state of the art training equipment, access to pools and saunas for rehabilitation and recovery. They provide a one-stop facility that caters to multiple training needs,” he said.
Casey RACE Manager Carly Sanders said the new partnership had created an air of excitement in the centre.
“Conquest Athletic Performance is an amazing group and we are thrilled to have them training at the facility. Not only is it an elite training academy, but they have a real sense of community and care for all their athletes, which we admire,“ Ms Sanders said.
“Casey RACE is home to a number of top-level athletes including Rio Olympians Josh Beaver and Brooke Stratton, and the new partnership has the potential to grow that list with young local prospects.”

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