Two boxers from strong sporting families have been named to represent New Zealand at the Buenos Aires 2018 Youth Olympic Games.
18-year-old Te Mania Shelford from Melville High School will contest the women’s U57kg category, while 17-year-old Kasib Murdoch from Kaikorai Valley College will contest the men’s U60kg.
Te Mania is from a family whose name is synonymous with sport in New Zealand. Her uncle Angus Shelford boxed at the Sydney 2000 Olympic Games, while New Zealand rugby great Buck Shelford, is also a distant cousin.
Te Mania, the 2017 New Zealand U57kg age group champion, is yet to meet Buck Shelford but says his sporting success has spurred her on.
“I haven't met him yet because we have such a big family but I hope to meet him one day. I've heard lots of great stories about him and his love for sport and how everyone just loves him.”
Above: Te Mania Shelford in blue
Te Mania is looking forward to the Youth Olympic Games where she’s keen to learn from her international competition.
“Win or lose, I'm hoping to make my family, friends, team and New Zealand proud. I’m also hoping to inspire young women and men to work hard and follow their dreams.”
Kasib Murdoch is also from a fighting family, with brother Shem Murdoch a professional MMA athlete.
Kasib, the 2017 Australian Golden Gloves champion, enjoys the thrill of the bout, following intense training.
“After putting everything into my training to be the best I can be physically and mentally, I love it when it’s finally time to get in the ring with my opponent and implement my fight plan.”
“Travelling to Buenos Ares with the New Zealand team will be an awesome experience that will help me grow as a boxer, and of course I’m hoping to bring home a medal.”
Above: Kasib Murdoch in red
The 2018 Youth Olympic Games will be the third summer youth Games, following those in Singapore in 2010 and Nanjing in 2014.
The Games are a pre-elite development opportunity for the world's most promising young athletes, allowing them to experience a multi-sport games environment while exposing them to learning and cultural opportunities and helping them on the performance pathway.
NZOC CEO Kereyn Smith extended her congratulations to the athletes.
“We’re very pleased to have these two athletes representing New Zealand at the Youth Olympic Games. We look forward to watching them compete with pride and honour in October.”
The Youth Olympic Games will run from October 6-18th in Buenos Aires, Argentina.