Collie coach awarded for volunteer work

Coach extraordinaire: Roche Park Community Boxing Club coach Michael Cain accepts his award from Minister for Environment; Disability Services Stephen Dawson.
Coach extraordinaire: Roche Park Community Boxing Club coach Michael Cain accepts his award from Minister for Environment; Disability Services Stephen Dawson.

Collie man Michael Cain says he is humbled after being presented as a nominee in the prestigious RAC Volunteering Award in Perth on Friday, October 20.

Mr Cain said he felt fantastic after being presented with the award at a ceremony in Perth by Minister for Environment; Disability Services Stephen Dawson MLC.

The award is for Mr Cain's volunteer work as a boxing coach at Roche Park Community Youth Club.

Mr Cain, who was a boxer himself many years ago, has been coaching the sport on and off since 1995, first at the PCYC and now at Roche Park, where he now coaches four nights a week. 

“I wanted to give back to boxing what I got from it,” Mr Cain said. “My coaches, Mick McCauley and Pat Karney helped me when I was younger and I wanted to give back what they gave me. It enhanced my life and had a great impact on me and I feel obligated to pass that on to kids today. I want to continue their legacy.”

Mr Cain said a lot of children who came to the club didn’t fit into team sports and boxing was an ideal sport where they could learn a skill and grow both as a boxer and a person.

He said apart from the fitness benefits, the sport taught children to believe in themselves and helped develop their confidence and self esteem. 

“They turn up at the boxing club and they meet people and become friends with them, sometimes lifelong friends.”

Mr Cain says he has struck up some lifelong friendships with some of the children he has coached over the years.

When not coaching, Mr Cain can be found at his auto mechanics business in town or taking his son to his various go-karting races and driving the bus for his son’s soccer team. His daughter is also involved in sport, playing hockey and basketball.

Mr Cain said volunteering was a big commitment, but one he thoroughly enjoyed.

Coaching was not the first time he has volunteered his skills. “In 1999 I was the chairperson that founded the Allanson bush school restoration project. After three years of restoration and guidance from the WA Heritage Council we successfully completed the project. The building is now 106 years old.

He said the community would benefit greatly if more people took up volunteering, even if it was just two hours a week, with a volunteer organisation.