As a boxer, Shane Cameron was as tough and determined as they come – but it’s now his work outside the ring that is turning heads.
Following a Commonwealth Games Bronze medal in 2002, Cameron turned pro and quickly moved up the Heavyweight ranks. In 2012, Cameron dropped a weight-class to challenge Australian boxing legend Danny Green for the IBO World Cruiserweight title in a classic Australia versus New Zealand battle. When he stepped away from the ring in 2014, Cameron had amassed an impressive record of 29 professional wins with just five losses.
But even more impressive is Cameron's commitment to the community. From his work with youth at his North Shore gym to his role as an Ambassador for Middlemore Foundation (Kids First) and various charity work, Cameron is inspiring and changing lives.
We caught up with Cameron, fresh of his appearance on Dancing with the Stars, to find out more about his career in sport and the positive impact that sport and recreation can have on lives.
How did you find your experience on Dancing with the Stars?
It was very challenging but there was a lot of fun involved too. Each week was different - some routines were easier to learn than others. It was a great journey and ultimately the charity (Child Cancer Foundation) would have done well out of it.
Why did you select the Child Cancer Foundation as your chosen charity?
A couple of years ago I did a charity ride where we rode from Auckland to Wellington over five days, shaking the bucket and creating awareness for child cancer. Just in the bucket we generated $40,000. I met a lot of the families and kids on the way and understood how much the families suffer. The great thing about the child cancer foundation is that the money generated goes straight to the families to pay for fuel and other expenses. It was an easy choice for me.
How was the dancing training different to boxing training?
The dancing training was longer. With boxing training you would box for a couple of hours, but with dancing we were dancing 4-6 hours a day. By the end of the day my head was all mangled up with the new steps and everything like that. The training was a lot different - I lost a bit of weight doing it.
How has sport positively influenced your life?
It's put me in the position where I am today. If I hadn't of got into boxing I'm not sure where I would be. Sport has given me so many great opportunities; I've met so many great people and learned so much.
I think the biggest thing is making sure you surround yourself with the right people. I've done that throughout my whole career. I've surrounded myself with positive people and when you do that good things happen. When I go to schools and speak with kids I say "surround yourself with the right people and good things will happen".
New Zealand has a strong sporting heritage, from what you've seen with your work in the community, are we in a position to continue that?
One hundred percent, I run three holiday programmes for under privileged youth and see a lot of talent there. Even the way they throw the ball around, run and play touch or tag is impressive. I'm a big believer that the kids are our future. It's amazing the talent they possess.
What are some of the success stories from Shane Cameron Fitness?
We get quite a lot of people walk in here who weigh 160 or 170 kilos. They lose 50 or 60 kilos and their confidence just grows. Because if you are walking around at that weight your confidence can be low, so it takes a champion to walk through that door for the first time.
The gym we are creating is one where anyone can come along. We run family memberships, mums and kids classes - we cater for everyone. The culture we like to run at the gym is a family one - open, inclusive and motivational.
Learn more about Shane Cameron at shanecameronfitness.com