Billy Graham at Club Otago September 2019


“If you don’t know what you can’t do, then there are no barriers – just go ahead and try.”

One of the messages from the ever-enthusiastic Billy Graham, our latest Club Otago speaker.

The former New Zealand and Australasian amateur welterweight boxing champion, and internationally renowned motivational speaker, Billy talked about the ability everyone possessed and why everyone should dare to dream.

His Naenae Boxing Academy has turned the lives of hundreds of (mainly) fatherless boys around, the model is now replicated around the country, and many of his former students have forged careers in their own right – based on the principles of discipline and respect.

As well as his serious message, the former New Zealander of the Year local hero, also had the crowd singing, drew rapturous applause for his playing of the harmonica (on occasion through his nose), and regaled the audience with stories of some of the great world champion boxers he had met over the years … mainly simply through knocking on their door.

Floyd Patterson, Joe Frazier and Muhammad Ali all lent their signature to Billy’s punching bag.

Some silky footwork, film star impersonations and tales of his upbringing completed what was a very fine lunch.