Aiming high: Teen wins Boxer of the Year award

·2 min read

SAINT JOHN • Tessa Scott, also known as "Lil Champ" at the Saint John Golden Gloves Amateur Boxing Club, has won its 2020 Ralph (Tiger) Thomas Boxer of the Year award. Now the 13-year-old is setting her sights on the 2023 Canada Games.

She's the third person to win the award since its inception.

"Winning this award makes me feel really confident, so I'll be more confident moving forward," she said.

Scott has been with the boxing club in Saint John for almost four years, said her coach, Joe Blanchard.

She said since then she's won five or six trophies. Blanchard said she won the 2020 Brampton Cup Gold Medal in February 2020 for her age and weight category.

"She's very quiet but yet she's well liked by everybody just because she's just a great kid. She's very happy when it comes to learning. Very easy to coach."

Blanchard said the title of Boxer of the Year is awarded to the athlete who stands out, shows the most growth, is the most willing to learn and has the ability to take instruction and try their best.

"For a young student who is busy with school and has a lot of other distractions available to her, to be able to stay focused on a sport during these times was really what stood out to us, and we really appreciated that."

He said she's a team player and is willing to help others who are just starting boxing as well.

The first two years it was given to 2018 Youth World Championship winner Charlie Cavanagh. Scott said she looks up to Cavanagh.

"She's really hard worker. And she's just achieved so much. And she's a really nice person," said Scott.

Scott isn't the only one in her family who boxes. Her mom, Andrea Scott, comes in with her daughter twice a week to box. Tessa Scott typically comes in to box three or four times a week.

"Anytime that I say, maybe we should stay home from boxing today, she never wants to stay home, she always wants to go," her mother said.

Blanchard said the club has seen a big influx in the numbers of young women or girls who are taking up boxing. Seeing role models like Scott and Cavanaugh be Boxer of the Year helps.

"It's one of the first things that you'll see when you come down into our gym is the plaque that stands proud. It's three years in a row that the females' names are on there. And that opens your eyes."

The Local Journalism Initiative is funded by the Government of Canada. L'initiative de journalisme local est financée par le gouvernement du Canada.

Caitlin Dutt, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Telegraph-Journal