Coast teenagers box their way to the Bahamas
BOXING: Don't let this pretty face fool you - Indianna Heibloem is one girl you don't want to mess with.
The 16-year-old southpaw trains out of SC Boxing Club at Kunda Park and says she has Tokyo 2020 in her sights, after she claimed the Australian Junior Title (51kg) at the weekend.
There, she beat friend Leah Pilon in a close final. She now becomes one of two Sunshine Coast athletes to be nominated to represent Australia at this year's Youth Commonwealth Games in the Bahamas, after Cooroy's Impact Boxing product Ella Booth also claimed Aussie gold in the 60kg division.
Heibloem is juggling Year 11 at Siena Catholic College, a part-time job at Palmwoods diner Rick's Garage and five days of training each week.
Her coach and step-father Brendan Cotter said she'd been boxing for two-and-a-half years, but had shown promise right from the beginning.
"Last year I wanted to get to the Youth Commonwealth Games and that's happening now,” Heibloem said.
"The future goal is Tokyo.”
Booth is coached by renowned instructor Mark Evans, who had another successful titles. His fighters claimed five gold and three silver medals.
Joining Booth atop the dais on the Gold Coast was now two-time Australian champion Chloe Halley (women's 57kg), Tyler Blizzard (men's 52kg), Riley Whitestyles (46kg) and Coen Allmann (46kg).
Impact Boxing's head coach, Evans said Booth was a rare talent.
"She's been boxing for just over one year ... she's had 15 fights and won 14 of them,” he said.
"She is just 100% dedicated and disciplined in this sport. It's all she wants to do.”
Evans also prepares Sam Cameron-Hands and rising talent Taylah Robinson, who are both preparing to vie for Commonwealth Games spots on the Gold Coast next year.
"You could almost bet your house on Taylah Robinson making the team,” Evans said.
Cotter said although Heibloem was his step-daughter, she received no special treatment and probably had it even tougher than her clubmates.
Heibloem said she had plenty of work to do before the games start on July 19.
Australia will send teams to compete in athletics, beach volleyball, boxing, cycling (road), judo, rugby sevens (men and women) and swimming.
The team announcement is expected later this month.
"It wasn't my best performance but it was a hard fight and I think (Leah) wanted it as much as I did and did everything she could,” she said.