Inspirational Singleton youngster Zac Lloyd packing a punch to achieve his goals in boxing ring

FIGHT CLUB: Zac Lloyd with his boxing coach and Singleton PCYC manager David Andrews.
FIGHT CLUB: Zac Lloyd with his boxing coach and Singleton PCYC manager David Andrews.

IF you were to look up the word "inspirational" in the dictionary, you should probably see a photo of Zac Lloyd next to the meaning.

Despite having cerebral palsy (CP), a neurological condition caused by brain damage, the 21-year-old Singleton lad not only possesses a brilliant outlook on life - but a neat right punch, too.

And, every Wednesday, he spends an hour at the Singleton PCYC honing his boxing skills under the watchful eye of David Andrews.

It's a partnership Lloyd hopes brings him success further down the track.

"I really love the sport," he said.

"It was mainly for fitness at the start, about a decade or so ago.

"However, my goals have since changed.

"Now, I'd like to take part in a bout one day.

"It would be good to put what I've learned, in the ring, against someone else.

"I used to train at the Singleton YMCA then moved across to the PCYC.

"David and I enjoyed a couple of sessions before coronavirus (COVID-19) struck.

"But, we're back into it again.

"I've noticed a lot of improvement since I've been here [PCYC]."

The pair undergoes a rigorous routine, which includes the pads, weights and heavy bag, while Lloyd himself completes sit-ups and crunches in his own time at home.

"David's one of the best coaches I've had in my life," he said.

"He not only pushes me, we also have fun and a fair bit of banter along the way.

"We try to mix it up," Andrews chipped in.

"Zac's left hand is weaker than his right, he drops his guard under fatigue and he struggles to get full extension on his jabs, so that's what we're working on - building up his strength.

"However, it's easy to train an athlete who wants to learn.

"He never has an excuse; he just gets in and does what he needs to do.

"Zac gives 110 per cent with a smile on his face - he's certainly an inspiration."

It's understandable to see why Andrews thinks so highly of Lloyd, who attended St Catherine's Catholic College in Singleton.

The youngster's determination and commitment is infectious.

"I've always been wheelchair-bound; and my parents were told I'd need 24-hour care when I was little," he said.

"But, we proved everyone wrong.

"Now, I can do everything, apart from stand.

"My wheelchair isn't a disadvantage; to me, it's a positive.

"I realise I have a long way to go, however I'm determined to get in the [boxing] ring in the near future.

"Something like a three-round exhibition fight.

"If I could achieve that, it would be like a Rocky [Balboa] movie.

"Although I'm not sure who'd play me in the film," he added with a laugh.