Shakirin, 21, is currently a Year 3 student pursuing a Diploma in Sport Coaching at Republic Polytechnic. He trained at Kadir’s Boxing School and is working as a boxing coach at a reputable mixed martial arts (MMA) gym in Singapore. He also won the 2nd National Youth Boxing Championship in 2019. Today, he shares more about his journey in the sport!

Tell us more about what you do!

I am a coach at UFC Gym Singapore and was a student at Kadir’s Boxing School. I also coach for my local neighbourhood’s “Boxercise” programme (exercising through boxing) in hopes of spreading awareness about boxing to the community.

Being a coach is very different from being a fighter. A coach has to be able to guide their athletes holistically, both in their sporting journey as well as in life. I have been coaching professionally for close to two years and have been involved with combat sports since I was 14, starting with Muay Thai.

As a personal trainer, I train young kids, adults and competitive boxers to achieve their individual desired fitness goals. However, I only coach part-time for now as I’m a full-time student.

What motivates you to do this?

Staying in a rental estate where crime rates are high, I felt a sense of duty to help kids here not get into trouble with the law. I want to inspire them to use boxing as a means to stay disciplined. I believe that through boxing or sport, which trains discipline, these kids will have a better shot in life.

Have you faced any challenges so far? How did you overcome them?

Being a young coach is definitely challenging as people tend to doubt mewhen they find out about my age. They have a stereotype that older coaches make better coaches. However, my course actually teaches us how to be modern coaches who have evolved from traditional regimental methods in training, and this is what I offer to my boxers and clients – I train them differently.

I focus on the holistic development of an athlete’s fitness including their health and mental well-being, utilising fully what I have learnt in my diploma. Thankfully, people have started to see the value in me, and thus I’ve been able to train more people.

If you could share one piece of advice with your fellow youth, what would it be?

My advice to the youth is that they have to be focused on their life goals and not let life’s pleasures get the better of them. And for those that love to fight, why not test your skills in the ring? You will never know how far you can go with boxing!

What are your hopes or plans for the future? What do you want to see or perhaps do?

My hope for the future is to see more young talents in boxing and for schools to consider boxing as a part of a weight loss programme. I’ve seen many people lose weight and reach their desired fitness goals through boxing. It’s definitely a fun sport for working out, it is a sport that builds courage and resilience should you choose to compete!

This article was published on Mar 5, 2022

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