Two Tauranga Boxing Club members have been selected to represent New Zealand at the Arafura Games in Darwin on April 26 to May 4.
Ariane Adlington will line up in the Female 69 kilogram division, and Michelle Nuki in the 60 kilogram class.
Tauranga Boxing Club Coach Chris Walker says, “The Arafura Games is a great introduction to international competition.
“Ari and Michelle will gain some valuable experience for the future and with most countries sending their number two boxers, the boxing tournament will be competitive but achievable for both our boxers”.
The Australian Northern Territory sporting festival began in 1991. After an eight year break, the Northern Territory Government has brought back the Arafura Games, which showcases not only sport but also the arts, culture and history of the region to the large number of visitors expected at the 2019 Arafura Games.
The 2019 Arafura Games, which will feature 17 sports, is seen as catering for elite development competition.
The boxing competition excludes current national champions, with Boxing New Zealand taking the opportunity to send two teams, representing the North and South Island.
“Ari is in the sport for the long haul and the Arafura Games fits in beautifully with her progression on the Boxing New Zealand elite pathway. She is determined and hardworking and has been fighting more experienced opponents from the start of her career”. Says Chris.
“Michelle is a new addition to our team, having previously being trained by Greg Connings who is taking a break from the sport. She shows good fundamentals and a desire to improve.
“Both Ari and Michelle will be better for the experience in Darwin and should continue to improve”.
The two Tauranga Boxing Club Members international debuts, adds to coach Chris Walker’s growing list of boxers who have been selected for New Zealand amateur boxing teams in the last two decades.
Chris' brother, Robbie, was the first to make an international debut out of the Rotorua Boxing Gym, going on to box for his country at the 1998 Commonwealth Games.
David Aloua-Rogers and Anthony Taylor both backed up National titles, with selection for the 2010 Commonwealth Games in India. David also earned selection for the Commonwealth Championships returning home with a bronze medal.
Oceania Games success came to the Western Bay of Plenty boxing gymnasium in 2005, with Kelly Woolrich and Justin Potter winning Oceania titles in Papua New Guinea.
Tauranga Boxing Club Members @ the Arafura Games 26 April/4 May 2019
North Island (Kiwi North) – Female 60kg - Michelle Nuki (Bay of Plenty)
South Island (Kiwi South) – Female 69kg Ariane Adlington (Bay of Plenty)