Kickboxing is 15-year-old Crystal Cook’s passion, and her dedication to the sport has resulted in her selection to represent New Zealand in this year’s Junior World Kickboxing Championships.
To be held in Italy in September, it’s a competition Crystal wouldn’t be able to attend if she wasn’t one of the 13 Variety 2018 Gold Heart Scholarship recipients – all thanks to CMC Markets – and as such she is extremely grateful to have the opportunity.
Having taken part in the sport for eight years, alongside boxing and Muay Thai, Crystal is as dedicated as can be, even travelling the 200kms between her home town in Kaiwaka and Auckland for training at least three times a week.
Crystal’s interest in kickboxing began in primary school. Weighing 90kgs at only nine years old, she was unfit and had no friends; that is until the day she decided to try out kickboxing at a gym she heard about through family friends.
“I loved it and have been doing it ever since,” she said.
And her hard work and perseverance is paying off. Crystal is a world champion in this sport for her age and weight. She has excelled in competitions, bringing home many a medal.
While her current focus is on the upcoming world championships, Crystal has big dreams for the future.
With her coach’s support, she is aiming to represent New Zealand in boxing at the Olympics. One day, she hopes to open her own gym to teach others what she has learnt, with a focus on disabled and disadvantaged children.