A Yellowknife kickboxing coach led a team of young Canadian athletes to the best result in the country.
It was part of an international tournament held in Venice, Italy from September 30 to October 9. The World Kickboxing Association Junior Championship included 2,500 athletes from 60 different countries.
John Stanley, co-owner and trainer of Stanley Boxing and Fitness, said the team he coached finished 15th overall, the best result for a Canadian youth team to date.
“I learned a lot from the tournament and the experience. Even though I’ve been a coach for 25 years, I try to never stop learning,” he said.
It was Stanley’s first time coaching a world championship.
“Just watching some of these great countries and how they perform and how they run their athletes and what they do overall has been a big benefit for me.”
He said it was the girls on the team who “stole the show”, including one from Alberta who won a world championship in the light contact category.
“The majority of them, I had only met them once before in training camp,” he said. “In a way it was easier because I didn’t have any of my own athletes [from N.W.T] involved. There’s no you know, there’s no emotion. There are no nerves.”
Going forward, Stanley said the gymnasium is preparing its athletes for a tournament to be held in Yellowknife in February.