For the first time since 1984, two local boxers are headed to the national championships. 14-year-olds Parker Klassen and Damya Bow will represent Grande Prairie and their gym Warrior Strong International at the 2019 Super Channel Championships next month. Damya says she’s excited to compete.
“I feel really good about it. I’m the first girl from Grande Prairie to ever go to nationals and it feels like I’m making history.”
Damya recently won a gold medal at the provincials in Leduc on March 9th and 10th. At that competition, she became the first female provincial champion from Grande Prairie and was also named the best junior female boxer. Parker also won a gold medal at provincials. They will both be the first boxers to go to nationals from the city since Willie deWit went in 1984. Parker says its an honour to get to go.
“Last year I won provincials but I couldn’t go to nationals because I wasn’t old enough. Being old enough this year and getting the opportunity it means a whole lot to be able to show my skill and show how far I’ve come.”
Both teens started training with Warrior Strong Stanley Boxing Head Coach John Stanley around 16 months ago. Stanley says he’s proud of his athletes and just wants to see them do their best.
“At the end of the day, this is all experience leading to hopefully a bigger picture down the road. It’s great to win these titles and have these accomplishments but ultimately if they don’t succeed, as long as they’ve done everything they can to prepare and do their best to follow instructions in the corner that’s all anybody can ask of them.”
On March 20th, the teens will head to Lodgepole to train with Team Alberta. They will then head to the Westin Bear Mountain Resort Community in Langford, B.C for the nationals from April 23rd to the 27th.