Going through traumatic experiences at a young age can take a toll on your mental, emotional, and physical health. It can cause you to act out, have low self-esteem, anxiety, and other issues. A recent study found that children who were exposed to adverse childhood experiences reported to have better mental health as adults by participating in sports as a child.
– Cleveland Clinic (2019, August 12) Research: Team Sports Improve Kids’ Mental Health; Retrieved from http: www. Cleveland clinic.org/2019/08/12/research-team-sports-improve-kids-mental-health.
The ways sports positively affect the mental health are: reducing depression and stress, boosting self confidence, and improving your mood and concentration, and Burundi gets leadership skills. This brings us to to introduce to you an eight year old female boxing phenom in the making! She’s located in Croydon, Surrey UK and goes by the name the chosen nickname of Pinky (@justpinky1).
Pinky is this bright and vibrant young lady with a hidden fire in her that the world is soon to know about with her promising career in the boxing ring! At such a young age she has already faced some tough situations that some children or adults in today’s society would not be able to handle. Experiencing bullies at not one, but two schools along with losing two younger siblings all within a time frame of 10 months.
That was enough to make anyone have anxiety, go into a deep depression, or even become angry and start acting out. Not Pinky, she turned to boxing where she learned to cope and let it all out through her gloves! We had a chance to reach out to her father whom is her mentor, inspiration, and one of her biggest supporters and he gracefully gave his permission for us to interview her. With gratitude and appreciation we present you Pinky’s interview:
W2WT:Hello Pinky how are you?
Pinky: Hi! I am fine. Thank you, just coming back from school.
W2WT: Out of all sports why did you choose boxing?
Pinky: I started boxing mainly to be able to stand up for myself.
W2WT: How much of an impact does it have on relieving your stress?
Pinky: It has a great impact. Sometimes when I am angry I use my training and sparring to unload instead of acting out.
W2WT: With experiencing the loss of your younger siblings and encountering bullies at the same time did it cause you to be angry and act out? Did it cause you to be depressed?
Pinky: It was very sad for me losing my younger siblings. I lost my little brother first. It was such a shock. Just as the void was filled with excitement and joy finding out I was having a little sister the following year she passed away. Facing bullies at school my Mum and Dad have always taught me to stand up for myself. Sometimes when I complained to teachers, they believed the other kids. I felt that was because they are all friends. Dad told me not to worry because he would sort things out. I became really quiet and shut in for a while, but I still worked hard at school. As I transferred to another school, my parents decided that a disciplined sport that controlled emotions would be helpful. It was the right decision at the right time because I had encountered more problems at the new school.
W2WT: How long have you been boxing?
Pinky: I have been boxing exactly one year. My coach says I am a natural!
W2WT: Who is your boxing inspiration?
Pinky: My favourite boxers are Muhammed & Laila Ali, Clarissa Shields, Mike Tyson, Sameerah, and Katie Taylor.
W2WT: How does it make you feel being one of the youngest, if not the youngest female in boxing at this time?
Pinky: Being one of the youngest I feel special. The older boxers spare me and help me to better all around, especially my coach @marcusluther who is born on my birthday!
W2WT: How has your confidence been?
Pinky: I wasn’t very confident last year, but now I even fight boys. Have you seen my Instagram? I knocked down two boys 🥊
W2WT: Since you’ve started boxing have you had to deal with anymore bullies?
Pinky: A boy punched me in the eye a couple of weeks ago and I punched him back and he fell. My Dad says protecting myself is more important than being punished for retaliation.
W2WT: Do you have any competitive matches coming up? If so, when?
Pinky: Later in the year my Dad wants to test my skills, but I want to focus on getting better first.
W2WT: What advice would you give to the little girl who is reading this that may be going through her own adversaries and may not be aware of how sports can help?
Pinky: Any girl or boy going through horrible experiences always tell a teacher and your parents. No problem is too big to handle. Sticks and stones may break my bones, but names will never hurt me. Don’t allow anything or anyone to make you feel less than you are. If you ever have to defend yourself, choose a sport where you learn to fight back. Don’t ever give up. Don’t ever give in. Be happy in your skin. Be proud of who you are!
Sometimes it seems that kids always learn from adults. These days, adults can surely learn from kids. They are so smart and strong to be so young. After speaking with, or spending time with them, they open your eyes to some things as being an adult.
As we mentioned earlier, probably some people wouldn’t have made it through what this young lady endured. Here she is at the tender age of eight, overcoming adversaries, smart in school, learning to be the best boxer rage can be ,inspiring her peers and adults, and still standing strong! For more information on her journey be sure to follow her on Instagram @justpinky1
W2WT Journalist: Helen Bohanna