“Boxing is what saved me and put me on a better path.”
Pilot Giday is a proud Ethiopian, who was born in a Sudanese refugee camp. From an outsider’s perspective, the odds might seem stacked against his favour.
Yet Giday is proving himself as an up-and-coming boxing prodigy.
Giday juggles three jobs with two hours of boxing training six days a week, somehow, he manages to make it look effortless.
Growing up playing soccer most of his life, he took up boxing in 2018 to improve his fitness.
“I trained here and there and wasn’t taking it that seriously, then I had a personal experience and that switched my mind,” he says.
From there, Giday focused on boxing.
After four years of hard work, the next challenge is set to be the toughest for the young boxing star.
“My focus right now is the 2024 Olympics,” he says.
Next year, he hopes to attend the nationals and qualify for the team.
“I’m heading into the elites now, having that exposure coming into next year will be important for nationals. Hopefully, I can win it and then I’ll be ranked number 1 in Australia. One step at a time for now.”
Giday explains that boxing has put his life on the right path and placed great meaning on his life. As such, it’s easy to see how Pilot can be considered as a role model for young Africans who are looking to try out the sport.
“I don’t know if I’m an inspiration [to other young Africans], but I hope so. I hope it’s their way of coming out and finding that distraction where they can stay out of trouble and focus on what they need to do.
For me, this is what saved me and pointed me to a better path,” he says.
“If what I’m doing, and the dedication and hard work does inspire somebody to not just take it up but start something they wanna start then that does make me feel some type of way.”
The author extends sincerest thanks to Ringfit Training Centre and Pilot Giday for giving me the opportunity to come and experience a training session. This project would in no way be possible without their help.
Story and photographs by Dylan Gane