Quesnel’s red storm will soon be wearing the red and white of Team Canada at the Junior Pan-Am Games.
Britynn “Hurricane” Carter, 17, has climbed the boxing ropes all the way to the junior national team for her age division, and the first stamp they are putting in her passport is Colombia at one of the biggest sporting events south of the Olympics.
“I’m really excited for it. It’s going to be huge,” she told The Observer. “This is something I’ve dreamed of ever since I started boxing – to represent Canada. This is just huge for me. Huge.”
To prepare for the international tournament, she and the other five members of Team Canada gathered in Montreal earlier this month for a group training session.
“It was crazy; really good. There were three provincial coaches there – one from Quebec, one from Ontario, and then Jesse Pineiro from B.C.,” said Carter, who suffered major disappointment when she went with Team BC to box in the Canada Winter Games in P.E.I. only to fall ill on the eve of the tournament. But she balanced that off the same month by attending a national team audition that earned her and her fiery red hair a spot on the maple leaf squad.
Carter trains on a regular basis at Quesnel’s 2 Rivers Boxing Club under longtime coach Wally Doern. She opted to shift her rehearsals to Chilliwack, in the final leadup to Colombia, however, to work with coach John Meredith and his family of boxers that includes fellow Team Canada boxer Ella who has been in the ring with Carter, in the past, and the two have been friends ever since. Having a peer to fight with in training is essential to both of them, heading into the South American extravaganza.
Typically a fighter in the 60 kg weight bracket, Carter will be kicking it up a notch at the Junior Pan-Am Games, boxing in the 63 kg division instead. She will be squaring off against opponents who are surely heavier and potentially taller than she.
“I’ve been working on going under, trying to get inside, lots of head movement, lots of combos,” she said.
It’s a package of new techniques being added onto her regular regimen of skill development.
A whole other skill she’s having to learn, through this experience, is fundraising. Team Canada can afford to cover some of the expenses, but a lot of the travel costs must be borne by the athletes themselves. Carter has a GoFundMe page to generate donations. Some contributions have already come in.
“It’s amazing that people have been donating. I’m so very grateful. Every penny counts,” she said. “It’s really helping out so much. I feel so loved. I appreciate it so much. It’s getting me to where I need to be, to showcase what I’ve been working towards for six years.”
Go to the online version of this story for a link to Carter’s fundraising page, or look it up at GoFundMe.com.