Nikki Bascome determined to be positive role model
Nikki Bascome feels a sense of responsibility to be a positive role model within the community and offer the island’s young people greater opportunities to succeed.
While the 32-year-old has made his name as professional boxer, he is determined that his legacy reaches far beyond the constraints of the ring, with a burning desire to have a major impact within society and on some of the most vulnerable within it.
Bascome, who will hosting the first of two boxing camps for children aged eight to 13 at his gym on the site of the old TN Tatem Middle School from December 19 to 23, believes a major part of being able to achieve that is by leaning on his knowledge learnt from within the sport.
“I feel a big responsibility to be a positive influence within the community,” said Bascome, who has previously launched community gardens to assist in meeting the needs of the less fortunate, as well as starting another initiative to hand out free school bags to children.
“A lot of the time people talk about leading by example but we have to follow through and be the change that we wish to see. There is a real problem in Bermuda with antisocial behaviour and so it’s important that there are activities available to allow young people to channel their energy in the right way.
“We all want to see less violence and issues within the community and I feel that responsibility to play my part in any way that I can. We have to try and empower the next generation to give them opportunities to stay out of trouble.
“Obviously what is going on is bigger than me but I feel a sense of pride if I’m able to help others progress within community and to give people opportunities to do that. It does not take a lot for me to be an example to the wider community and so I’m happy to be able to try to do that.”
Forever grateful for the guidance of his longtime coach and father figure Allan “Forty” Rego, who passed away in 2018, Bascome now feels duty-bound to take up the mantle of being a positive mentor to the next generation.
“Mr Rego was a huge part of my life and I feel now it’s my turn to pass on that knowledge,” he added. “It was always a wish of his that we passed on what we learnt to the next generation. I’ll always remember that and so it is important that comes to fruition.
“When I was coming up as a youngster I had no energy to do anything else after training. I remember a lot of the nonsense that was going on was happening while I was training and so thankfully I was away from it. I had that positive outlet and it gave me a sense of discipline.
“It helped me immensely when I was younger and even now I still have that discipline. I’m at 5am everyday to train, whether I have a fight or not and it has just become part of my life.”
While retirement remains far from Bascome’s immediate future plans, he has turned his attention to how he can be a force for good when he hangs up his gloves.
“I’ve definitely thought about going into coaching once I retire but at the moment I haven’t decided wholeheartedly because I know how much time and discipline it takes to be able to do that, properly,” he said.
“However, I’m definitely keen to be able to help in any way that I can, particularly the younger boxers to be able to help give them that sense of discipline and confidence.
“A lot of them might not go on to actually become boxers but having that grounding makes a huge difference to your life. It gives you a sense of routine and that will stay with them as they get older.
“That’s something I really want to do, help light the flame in these youngsters.”
• For more information on the upcoming boxing camps e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org