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Photo by Joe McMenamin

From Naenae to the North Island Golden Gloves

Aliraza Ismatullah —

Kia ora! My name is Aliraza Ismatullah and I’m in 10ATA. I represented the Naenae Boxing Academy in the North Island Golden Gloves Championships.

 It was held on 22nd and 23rd October at the Great Lake Centre, Taupo. People from all over the North Island came to compete in this competition, so I was able to see and observe a lot more talent from outside of our boxing academy.

I got picked by my coach Billy Graham to fight in the North Island Golden Gloves because I trained hard and he believed I was ready for it. To prepare for this event I had to run 6-8 kilometres every morning before school to get fit. I also had to improve my boxing routine and, most importantly, listen to my coach’s advice and made sure that I always stayed focused.

Some of the things that I had to do at the competition really did test my focus, but in the end, we got rewarded. One of the things we had to do was to make weight by not eating. For example, when we arrived in Taupo at 5pm we weren’t allowed to eat until the weigh-in, which was at 8am the next morning. We had to do this for each fight we had, so I had to go through this twice, which was kind of hard. However, the rewards we got at the end were awesome. We got to experience things in Taupo, like the hot pools and go-karting.

As a result of my training and preparation I won a gold medal for my division after two matches (one of them I won by default, but, who cares, I won a medal!) I’ve realised that you have to be mentally fit as well as being physically fit if you want to compete in a sport like boxing. Thanks to the Naenae Boxing Academy and Billy Graham for the opportunity to compete in the Golden Gloves Championships. 

  By Aliraza Ismatullah 10ATA