Wedding rings and boxing gloves go hand-in-hand for a husband and wife team who will compete at the New Zealand amateur championships next month.
Sam and Tegan Clark have been named as part of the Canterbury team which will be eyeing up national titles on home soil for the first time since 2010 at the Hornby Workingmen’s Club.
Sam said while they met outside boxing eight years ago, he was aware Tegan was a handy boxer.
“I remember I hadn’t paid much attention that she was a boxer but I remember watching her in the gym one night and thinking she was better than most of the boys,” he said.
“We had a round of training together (on Monday night) but it’s not something we do often because it’s a weird match-up.”
The couple got married earlier this year and have two children together, Alexia, 4 and Andre, 3.
“The kids come with us to our trainings on a weekly basis and have their own pair of gloves,” Tegan said.
Tegan, 25, returned to the ring 12 months ago after having six years away to start their family. She won five national titles at the junior level and was eager to add an elite title to it next month.
Tegan will compete weekend in an attempt to qualify for the world championships in India in November. Her ultimate goal is to make the Olympic squad at Tokyo 2020.
“It was tough watching Sam on the sidelines and watching the other girls fight and know I could do a better job,” she said.
She said having Sam there is a great motivator. “We don’t spar together but we keep each other on the straight and narrow in terms of diet.
Tegan starting boxing at 10-years-old when her dad, Lee Madden was the coach at the
Woolston Boxing Club.
“I was always getting in to the ring and jumping on things and shadow boxing,” she said.
“I always promised dad I would get back into it after having the kids.”
The couple now box for the Smiling Tigers Gym.
Sam, 30, has represented New Zealand twice in the past year and is looking for his first national title in four attempts.