Throughout my professional career, my nationality and patriotism were always questioned due to migrating as a child from my birth country of England to Canada. Migration plays a very big role in socioeconomically challenged communities as head of households try to find better prospects – for a host of different reasons – in other countries, and having experienced the benefits of migration I wholeheartedly say that three countries and their resources positively impacted my life.
I was born in East London to Jamaican parents and by the age of 12 migrated to Canada. I represented Canada in the 1984 Olympics and won a bronze medal. I returned to the 1988 Seoul Olympic Games and won the gold medal for Canada in the Heavyweight Boxing Division. I became a pugilist specialist (professional boxer) shortly after winning the gold in Seoul and returned to my birthplace of England to pursue my professional career because professional boxing opportunities were extremely limited in Canada.
I have accomplished more in my boxing career than I ever could have imagined but I am also aware that my journey is filled with people, places and countries that helped and supported me along the way. So the torch has to and needs to stay lit because the next generations of champions are depending on our support.
While the foundation was founded a year ago the plans have been on the drawing board for years. When Violet and I met she was pursuing her Master’s in Social Work because of a genuine desire to empower and positively impact the lives of young people and the elderly. We believe that the building block of our society begins with children and that we can modify behavior and instill a desire for success utilizing the sport of boxing.
We founded The Lennox Lewis League of Champions Foundation from a desire to ensure that children in under-served communities had access to the World of Boxing and that it would inspire, empower and create opportunities to break barriers and limitations so that success can become a reality. Everyone has a purpose in life and unfortunately not everyone receives the same opportunities. The World of Boxing has more to offer than fight entertainment. It teaches discipline, hard work, increases self-esteem and confidence. Belief in oneself increases too, so fighting is no longer a first choice to solving problems.
We know first hand that success is a combination of opportunity and determination and we want to make certain that opportunity reaches the communities that have limited resources in Jamaica, Canada, UK and the USA. Together we can build the next generation of champions and leaders through strategic programmatic initiatives.
Lennox and Violet