A member of the Maple Ridge Boxing Club is chasing his Olympic dream, which has taken him to Montreal to continue training.
Sabri Faruk, 24, won gold at the Canadian Boxing Nationals in the Senior Elite category representing Team BC and Maple Ridge Amateur Boxing Club.
“I’m on the road to represent Team Canada in the 2020 Olympics and eventually fight professionally to become world champion,” he said.
In August, he relocated to Boxing Canada’s national boxing team facility headquarters in Montreal, and will represent Team Canada in international calibre amateur boxing matches around the world.
He is seeking corporate and private sponsorship to help offset cost of living and travelling expenses while training and competing in international bouts. While a portion of these expenses is subsidized nationally, he needs to supplement the remaining basic costs of rent, food, utilities and travel.
He has training sessions two or three times a day, six days a week, and said the rigorous schedule makes working while training challenging.
Faruk has a gofundme.com page to help raising funds to support him as he trains. So far, he has raised about $4,000.
“It’s a struggle to work out and pay your bills at the same time,” said Brad Scott, a coach and the Maple Ridge fight club.
Faruk was born in Uganda, and moved several times due to his father’s engineering profession. He lived in Egypt and Malaysia before becoming a permanent Canadian resident and settling in Pitt Meadows.
He has a degree in information technology and web design, but doesn’t plan to make his living by hitting a keyboard.
Faruk was introduced to boxing about four years ago.
“I saw someone doing pads at a fitness club I was working out at, tried a session and was hooked on boxing immediately,” he said.
“Boxing turned my life around. I found my purpose, became fully engaged and committed and excelled at a rapid pace.”
Before winning national gold, he fought and won 44 tournaments, took three gold medals at provincial championships, and two bronze medals at previous Canadian nationals.
“Sabri is the hardest working athlete at our club,” said Jason Burke of the Maple Ridge Boxing Club. “He’s driven, humble, respectful, kind, grateful, helps young members through training and mentoring, dedicated, shows up every day and consistently give it his all.
“I envision Sabri fighting for Team Canada in the 2020 Olympics and making it as a world-class professional fighter.”
He was also coached by Bill Dawn Drewitt in Maple Ridge and credits the coaches with helping him become Canadian champion.