The Raro Rumble Fight Night is scheduled to take place on Friday, October 13 at The Swamp (Avatiu Sports ground).
It will feature male and female Cook Islands boxers from New Zealand and Rarotonga.
Rugby league great Shaun Johnson will be the special guest during the Raro Rumble Fight Night.
Event organiser Maire Browne said they expect to draw good support during the fight night which is being held for a good cause.
“It is my personal hope that through these programmes and mentoring, tools can be given to help teens and adults alike tackle issues such as low self-esteem, bullying, peer pressure, depression, etc., which we know can lead to bigger issues such as alcohol/substance abuse and even suicide,” Browne said.
“When I thought of launching this drive, I just wanted to make it clear that I didn’t want to put too much focus on negative ideas such as ‘youth suicide’, so this is why I chose to put it under the umbrella of ‘Youth Empowerment and Well Being’.”
Browne said statistics show that Pasifika youth are three times more likely to attempt suicide than youth from western countries.
She said this was not surprising given that studies have also shown that Pasifika people in general are less likely to seek help for mental illnesses such as depression.
“So as a Cook Islander and a former Miss Cook Islands, who has also suffered from depression, I really wanted to speak up, raise awareness and do something positive to raise funds to try and make a difference or at least start something to get the awareness and education out there.”
Browne also clarified her intention to use boxing as an avenue to raise fund for this worthy cause.
She said many people were quick to write boxing off as a violent or negative sport, adding they do not realise that boxing in a controlled environment can help people in many ways, both physically and mentally.
“Yes, it does have the stigma. Long term boxing is connected to damage to the brain, but what about all the many other contact sports out there,” she said.
“For this event, I chose boxing, because for me personally, the training really helped with my personal experiences of depression. I believe it is a sport that really makes you feel empowered and is character building – it takes a lot of guts to step into that ring!
“And it takes a whole tonne of discipline to be able to restrain yourself from not losing control in a fight, preserving your energy and just finding the strength to keep pushing through.”
Browne said they have a team of inspirational New Zealand-based Cook Islands boxers who will be travelling to Rarotonga to fight against locally based boxers.
She said the New Zealand-based boxers have started training and were looking forward to the Raro Rumble.
“All profits from the night will be donated to Rotaract Rarotonga so they can implement the programmes for the cause, whether it be through celebrity/inspirational speakers going to schools and running workshops or some other ways. It all depends on the amount raised,” Browne said.
“We have had some great partners and supporters come on board, including the legendry David Tua, who has been helping some fighters.
“We also have the legendary Shaun Johnson of New Zealand Warriors who has agreed to travel down to support the cause.”
General admission to the Raro Rumble is $20.