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Redfern Fight Night

REDFERN police commander Luke Freudenstein has been gloving up and hit­ting the pads to break down boundaries between police and the Redfern Indigenous community reports Robert Burton-Bradley in the print edition of Central on 16 December 2009.

A new initiative by Redfern police and the Redfern PCYC, a boxing tournament will be held this Friday night involving police, PCYC members and the Redfern All Blacks rugby team, but is open to anyone.

Superintendent Freudenstein has been hitting the boxing ring several times a week at the PCYC gym to train in preparation for an exhibition match and tournament this Friday night.

"I train nearly each day as it is, but for this fight I have had to train around five extra af­ternoons to be able to hopefully, adequately defend myself in the ring," he said. "Work­ing long hours and training has been tough and although I am only having an exhibition bout, one has to be well prepared.

"I would only train a fraction of the inten­sity of amateur and professional boxers, but still the training and preparation really does consume you."

It is hoped the matches will serve as a vehicle for breaking down some of the bar­riers between Indigenous youth and police and build on an already strong local rela­tionship first fostered by former command­ers, Catherine Burn and Mark Walton, and continued by Supt Freudenstein.

The matches cost $5 to participate in, with all funds raised going toward the Red­fern PCYC.

Mr Freudenstein said he had never boxed before but was enjoying the training.

"It's not to belt anyone out, it's to demon­strate the skill in boxing," said Supt Freu­denstein. "A hell of a lot is involved. You could stand there and not get hit by cover­ing yourself, but to make a hit you have to leave yourself open to do so and that takes skill.

"It's a lot about defence in boxing and a lot of the reason for doing this is to be able to defend myself. I don't have any previous experience, I just love the sport."

The PCYC hopes to make the tournaments and training sessions a regular occurrence that provide a regular source of revenue.

The exhibition training matches and fights will take place this Friday at the Redfern PCYC, 638 Elizabeth Street Redfern. Phone Redfern PCYC on 9319 4240

For a photo gallery of the training sessions at Redfern PCYC visit