Bluff teen punching to be Antony Welton Fellow for 2023

A $10,000 Fellowship awarded today will help a Bluff teenager fight to achieve his dreams of supporting young Māori and Pasifika in his community.

Te Rourou, One Aotearoa Foundation announced Izaya “Izzy” Simeon as the recipient for the third annual Antony Welton Fellowship.

Izzy, a 19-year-old Motupōhue/Bluff local, aspires to be a boxing coach, and is passionate about supporting Māori and Pasifika young people to achieve their goals.

Southern Queens Boxing offers a “safe and positive environment” for Izzy, and he wanted to give back to the community the same way his coach, Faliu Mauu, does.

“I wish to empower Māori and Pasifika and shape the way they embrace learning and combat hardship while being proud of where they come from.”

A haerenga (journey) to explore his whakapapa is one of the first goals Izzy hopes to achieve, and he plans to shadow his boxing coach to learn the ropes, and eventually train rangatahi to overcome barriers in their lives through boxing.

Mauu says Izzy is someone she can really rely on in the gym and is always there to help out.

“He has made amazing changes in his life in the past 18 months. Izzy is definitely going to be a top-notch coach and I’m honoured to help him achieve that goal.”

The news of receiving the Fellowship has inspired Izzy to get started straight away, attending training this week with a new purpose, he says.

“I am so grateful to be receiving this volume of support! This belief in me has inspired me even further to push towards my goals and I can’t wait to start ticking them off.”

The Antony Welton Fellowship provides one young person each year with $10,000 to awhi (support) them towards their vision for the future. The Fellowship was formed in 2021 when, after 12 years, Antony Welton stepped down from his role as the Chair of One New Zealand Foundation (then the Vodafone NZ Foundation). In honour of his dedicated contributions and commitment to improving outcomes for rangatahi, the Antony Welton Fellowship was established with the support of One New Zealand and CEO Jason Paris who grew up in Invercargill.

The Fellowship is aligned to Te Rourou’s continued investment into the Invercargill Initiative and supporting local rangatahi to thrive.

Antony Welton Fellowship