Hero Stories

"Thinking Outside the Box" Scholarship Case Study

Twenty-year-old boxer and student Ibrahim Osman is the seventh in a family of ten children – no doubt the solitude of the boxing ring is something not often found at home.

Travelling to Australia when he was just two years old with his mother and two older siblings, Ibrahim (“Ibby” to most) now has four younger siblings too and recently added uncle (times three) to his list of titles. Perhaps the big family attains to his high energy levels; “When I was in high school I was very hyperactive,” he says. “We had so much energy that a friend and I decided to check out the gym.” A move so rational that it seems like it should’ve come from a man many years Ibby’s senior.

“We were already doing a lot of weights,” Ibby says, so the natural progression from there was “the Collingwood Boxing Club”. After starting out with more weight training, something “everyone does,” Ibby then moved on to serious boxing. Surprisingly, he’s the only one of his friends who is still boxing today.

 Ibby trains at the Collingwood Boxing Club under the watchful eye of coach Kel Bryant and the five or so other competitive boxers at the club. Competition can be hard to find, and as such Ibby is only able to compete once or twice a month. Yet even after recently having several potential opponents pull out – mostly because of injuries – Ibby doesn’t lose his concentration; “It is good motivation (to have an opponent), but I keep training anyway.”

Why boxing? “I do it for the fitness and for the competition,” Ibby says, but it’s not all work. “It’s a fun sport too,” he quickly adds. And again his maturity is evident: “It keeps me occupied. I don’t like to waste time.”

Ibby is sensibly philosophic about his future in boxing; “I’ll see how I go in a couple of years,” he says. “If I’m still getting better I’ll stick to it.” If not, the Diploma of Film and Media that he’s currently undertaking is a bright fallback plan. “I would like to do both,” Ibby says. “And if I can’t I want to stick to one of them.” The best of both worlds, it seems.