WHETHER it be in the world of sport, or in life's journey, courage is shown in so many ways.
Courage can be defined succintly by having the ability to disregard fear.
That does not necessarily mean having no fear, but finding a way to conquer doubts, the odds, and much more.
In all sports there will be doubts and worries about form, the opposition, defeat, injury, and being hurt.
The recently-run Australian Amateur Boxing League national titles at Bendigo's All Seasons Hotel showcased courage in many ways.
Boxing is a great test of nerve, skill, mental toughness and courage.
Tennis, netball, basketball and more are sports we play. You don't play boxing, you box.
Although contests were decided by knockout, technical knockout, or points, every boxer was a winner in my view.
Stepping inside the ropes to compete was a win before any left hook, jab or uppercut was thrown.
All sports require courage.
Facing a rearing bouncer on the cricket pitch; hurtling around a cycling track on a bike with no brakes; or backing into a pack on the footy field are all courageous feats.
At the boxing titles in Bendigo there was plenty of grimacing as a right jab, body punch, or hook left its mark.
What was more remarkable was the boxers did not retreat, they kept stepping up aiming to strike their opponent.
Although there's four corners in the ring, there is no place to hide under the gaze of the fans.
When the contests were over there was elation for some, disappointment for others.
Among the most elated on the final night of the AABL national titles in Bendigo was Corey Pyle from New South Wales.
The bout went six minutes, but Pyle, pictured at far left, had put in hundreds of hours to prepare for his tilt at wining the national junior 63kg title.
Pyle's quick hands, feet and weaving under or around many of his opponent's swings was great to watch and showed what boxing is all about.
One of the many songs on Doley's favourites is The Boxer by Simon & Garfunkel.
The verse - "In the clearing stands a boxer,
And a fighter by his trade,
And he carries the reminders,
Of ev'ry glove that laid him down" - strikes a chord in so many ways.
The tune is not just about boxing, but overcoming the everyday challenges we face in work, at school, university, at home, and in the sporting arena.
Many messages about courage have been penned or spoken over the years.
For all his brashness and showmanship, boxing great Muhammad Ali once said, " He who is not courageous enough to take risks will accomplish nothing in life."
To keep on fighting takes courage, no matter what we do or challenges we face.
Tennis, netball, basketball and more are sports we play. You don't play boxing, you box