A group from Sandhills Boxing Club in Leader, Sk, travelled west this past weekend to compete in a two-day tournament. Four youth and one adult took their training to the next level as they stepped in the ring at the Silver Gloves 15th Annual Nieman/Page Memorial at the Medicine Hat Boxing Club.

Abigaelle Blohm was the only competitor from Sandhills who had competed previously, while the others were testing their nerves, skill and knowledge for the first time in a competition setting.

Among the novice athletes was father and son duo, Dean and Brayden Aldridge. Dean, 39, took this opportunity along side his 12-year-old son, to show courage and determination by going fist-to-fist against their opponents. 14-year-old Keeley Hartell also competed for the first time over the weekend, and although all three novice boxer’s lost their contest, they won a great deal of experience and are already preparing for another competition.

“There is a lot to take in on your first competition, for one you have the audience watching and it’s really testing your skills in a different setting than you are used to. These first few times out are great for the athletes to gain ring experience and get a feel for the sport at a competitive level to better prepare themselves for competitions to come,” said Ken Blohm, owner and trainer at Sandhills Boxing Club.

Blohm explained that only those athletes who are 11 years of age or older get scored by judges during their match which results in a winner of the bout. For those who are 10 and under, it is simply a contest with no scoring to determine who won the fight. Blohm said this keeps it fun for the kids and allows them to focus on their technique and learning.

Within the 10 and under category was Emma Jodoin who also has not competed previously, marking this tournament as her inaugural bout. Blohm’s daughter, Abigaelle, 9, also entered, however this was not her first time in the ring. Blohm said both girls did amazing and he said he already saw improvement in Abigaelle’s skill level from her last time in the ring.

“It’s all about improving, seeing what you can work on and then get back to training to build up those areas. Both girls did great and although both lost their competitions, again, it’s about the experience and knowing better what to expect next time around, I’m really proud of all the athletes, it’s a great feeling,” said Blohm.

Next up is a much larger competition which is just around the corner. Blohm said the five athletes who were in Medicine Hat will be making the trip along with a couple more from the Sandhills Boxing Club. The competition will take place in Calgary, Ab, February 2nd and 3rd.



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