Student fights his way into Sports Academy

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At the age of 13, Cabe Ihaia-Dean tried boxing and now he hasn’t looked back.

While attending Marfell Primary School in New Plymouth, a local police officer offered him and a group of others an opportunity to try the sport.

“Throughout those years I was on and off, but I never really took interest in doing boxing competitively until 2019,” Cabe, now 18, said.

He’s one of this year’s WITT Sports Academy entrants and will continue to train in the sport while studying the New Zealand Certificate in Exercise (Level 4) at WITT.

Out of those who were offered to get involved in the sport, Cabe, originally from King Country, is the only one who has continued but he has influenced others to join.

“Some time went past and my nephew and niece also took an interest in the sport and all three of us are now competing.”

He even has a few titles to his name winning several championship belts.

He’s won the Youth 63kg Central North Island title, North and South Island Golden Gloves Youth 63kg and New Zealand National Youth 60kg title.

“They are the biggest success for me as I find them mentally and physically challenging.”

But it’s taken a lot of work to compete and win those titles. His influencers are his caregivers.

“They have been pushing me to get to the stage I am in now, such as finishing school, pushing through boxing, getting a job and doing course inside and outside of school.”

There are plenty of benefits for Cabe too.

“Boxing helps me get mentally and physically stronger and helps overall wellbeing,” he said.

“I feel that it has helped me in many ways, building more knowledge of training myself and others.”

That training will expand with his Sports Academy experience. He hopes to develop more knowledge around fitness as well as build confidence to get better and push him towards his goals.

The course will go hand in hand with his sport.

“I took interest in this course as I wanted to become a personal trainer and get as much knowledge as I can to become more confident in myself and teach other students and adults of any age.”

In the long-term, Cabe can see himself become a trainer at WITT or other gyms locally, while still carrying on with his sport.

“I want to push as far as I can in overseas competitions or turn professional.”

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