A NORTHERN suburbs boxing club is punching above its weight, with five of its members representing WA in the national championships recently.
“Our club sent the most boxers of any club in WA,” Wanneroo Amateur Boxing Club head coach Neil Gledhill said.
Gledhill said the five teenagers had to win the state titles to qualify for the U19 National Boxing Championships in Queensland last month, where two won gold medals and one boy won silver.
“They are all state champions,” Gledhill said.
Tapping resident Solomon Price (18) won gold in the 64kg U19 class, his second national title.
Solomon said thinking of himself as the underdog and “refusing to lose” helped him keep going during bouts in the ring.
He said he enjoyed the competitiveness of the sport.
“I would like to go to Olympics,” he said, adding his next target was the Birmingham 2020 Commonwealth Games.
Jake Walker (15) won gold in the 80kg U17 class and Jay Keating (13) won silver in the 40kg U15s.
Jay, who started boxing when he was 12, said he liked keeping fit and “how scared you get before a fight but then it goes away”.
He said he used music to stay calm and the atmosphere at the championships was very different to the local boxing shows in smaller venues.
“It was nerve-racking because it’s a big thing,” the Ridgewood resident said.
However, Jay said he enjoyed the sport and had big goals to pursue in it.
“I want to turn pro,” he said.
Darcy Luke (16), of Burns Beach, was knocked out of the competition in the 63kg U17 semi-final and Seth Price (15), of Tapping, lost in the 66kg U17 quarter final, with both defeated by the eventual title winners.
Gledhill said the club had a family atmosphere and the sport taught children discipline, with feedback from parents suggesting it helped with their school work too.
“Boxing gives so much confidence for kids,” he said.
Solomon said boxing had helped build his confidence and fitness, as he trained five or six days a week.
“It’s a good sport to get into,” he said.
“Once you get used to everyone in the gym, you gain a bond.”
Gledhill said the non-profit boxing club, which started in 1975, was run by volunteers and included a program for underprivileged children.
“We aren’t here to make money; we don’t charge a lot,” he said.
The club is planning to hold a fundraising boxing show at Wanneroo Bowls Club on December 14.
Visit the club’s Facebook page for more information.