INDEPENDENT NEWS

Groundbreaking New Podcast Series Debuts On ROVA/Mediaworks May 1st, Telling The Untold Stories Of Aotearoa's Fighters

Published: Mon 22 Apr 2024 07:49 AM
"THE CANVAS," a groundbreaking new podcast series, is set to debut on ROVA/Mediaworks on May 1st, bringing to life the untold stories of Aotearoa's fighters. Narrated by acclaimed Tongan actor John Tui (known for his roles in Battleship, Hobbs and Shaw, The Young Rock), this narrative podcast delves deep into the psyche of fighters, exploring the personal battles they face outside the ring that shapes them into champions.
Unlike traditional sports podcasts that focus on records and technical analysis, "THE CANVAS" seeks to uncover the emotional and mental battles behind the physical ones. "When people say fighter, we often think of the courage it takes to enter a ring. But this podcast shows there is often a moving or unexpected backstory that compels someone toward the ring”, said writer/ producer Dane Giraud. "They are also stories that everyone can connect with – stories of struggle, resilience, and the relentless pursuit of greatness."
Each of the eight meticulously crafted, 45-minute episodes features a diverse range of Kiwi fighters, many from Māori and Polynesian backgrounds. The stories don’t feature the original voices of the fighters but are narrated and performed by Tui (with fellow Tongan actress adding female voices) against a backdrop of evocative soundscapes and a hip-hop soundtrack. The result is a creative, immersive listening experience somewhere between an audiobook and dramatization. Perfect for a commute or a workout, and a sign that podcasts in Aotearoa are really coming of age.
The series features the story of Lolo Heimuli, a foundational MMA coach in New Zealand, who knew the fight game would be his destiny after walking into a gym and watching for 5 mins. Lolo would go on the coach K1 champ Jason Suttie, and Ray Sefo, a global superstar in the mid 90’s who runs one of the top MMA gyms in Las Vegas today.
The darker side of the sport is also covered. While producing an episode with former Commonwealth games silver medallist, cruiserweight David Light, the 31-year-old boxer suffered a career ending stroke after a world title shot against England’s Lawrence Okolie.
The ever-growing female game is covered to with veteran Michelle Preston, still fighting at 45 years of age, and 23-year-old Palestinian Kiwi fighter Ayisha Abied, who was drawn to Muay Thai initially to cope with bullying.
The journey of fight announcer and MC Isaac Savage offers its own unique angle on the fight game, and what it takes to keep fight night together.
Listeners can expect a mix of fascinating hidden histories, searing social commentary, and a balanced portrayal of triumph and tragedy. The podcast promises to be an engrossing and entertaining journey into the lives of fighters, making "THE CANVAS" the 'people's champ' of Aotearoa podcasts.
Subscribe to "THE CANVAS" on ROVA/Mediaworks and follow our journey on social media to stay updated on episode releases and behind-the-scenes content.

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