‘I don’t want to live anymore’: Bully survivor fights back
SCHOOLGIRL Ruby Pokarier told her mum she 'didn't want to live anymore" after suffering at the hands of bullies.
But with a new focus she is now fighting to improve her life.
Ruby's parents enrolled the 12 year old at Oneheart Training Academy in Nambour six months ago but never expected boxing to change their daughter's outlook.
"I used to get bullied a lot and it was a dark time that I was always sad, but boxing made me overcome that and boxing is a place for me to calm down, it's my safe place," Ruby said.
"It has made me so much happier, more positive and has helped me stand up to the people that treat me really badly."
Her mother Deanne Pokarier said she didn't know how to help her daughter who had "thoughts of harming herself".
"If we hadn't have found boxing, I don't know where we would be right now, I don't know how things would have played out, we were already doing therapy and I didn't know how I was going to help her, and we just fell into boxing and it has nothing but help her," she said.
"It has changed her so much she is learning to be able to confront the issues herself, she is standing up and saying I'm not willing to be treated like that.
"She has more self-esteem and she is definitely a happier little girl than she was 12 months ago."
Ruby showed sportsmanship and skill in her first fight on December 7.
Her mother said Ruby hugged her older and heavier opponent before beating her in all three rounds of their fight.
Oneheart Training Academy founder Charlie Wetere said the up and coming boxer was "a discovery".
"To see her out there and perform like that is just incredible and I've been involved in this for a long time, but I've never seen anything like that," Mr Wetere said.
The boxing trainer said Ruby's attitude would take her a long way.
"She is my only one that listens.
"She will do anything that I tell her and that's the key to learning … and she always has questions and her dedication, she trains five times a week and does an extra hour than everyone else."
But Mr Wetere said putting Ruby back on the right track was about more than just training.
"A lot of my training is based around working with them, getting to know them, knowing when they cry and when they laugh," he said.
"In my eyes she is my granddaughter and that's how we pull them into a family environment and it gives them the support they need.
"I believe she found what she was looking for to build her self-esteem to find confidence and to feel good about herself and that's why I believe she does this.
"It makes her feel good in life because she wasn't very alive when she came to me."
Now happier than ever, Ruby believes she has found her passion.
"I'm hoping to be a professional boxer, I never thought I was going to do boxing, but it was amazing when I first fell in love with it," she said.
Ruby has several fights planed for this year with regional and national championships on her list.
For help call Lifeline on 131 114 or call Kids Helpline on 1800 55 1800.