The Northwest Territories now has a governing body for kickboxing after the group behind NWT Boxing expanded its remit.
Boxing and kickboxing will now be represented by one territorial sport organization, or TSO, recognized by Boxing Canada and kickboxing national governing body Wako Canada.
John Stanley, the TSO’s president, said kickboxers from the NWT looking to compete down south would previously have had to represent Alberta on paper.
“We decided we would make this move so we could actually present a team from the territory at kickboxing nationals,” Stanley told Cabin Radio.
“I wanted to be able to build something from the ground up. I’ve got probably about a hundred athletes training right now and in kickboxing there’s more opportunity for competition because they have different divisions – light contact, full contact, there are different opportunities.
“I’ve probably got 20 athletes right now that I feel are ready for competition.”
Wako Canada said it was “proud” to formally welcome the NWT, having first held an event in Yellowknife in February 2020 before the pandemic closed down such opportunities. Stanley said more events will be held once public health restrictions are loosened.
He said the new TSO is also exploring the possibility of opening a kickboxing club in Fort Smith.
The territory is the fourth Canadian province or territory to have a government-recognized kickboxing body, Wako Canada said, joining Ontario, Newfoundland and Labrador, and Prince Edward Island.
“This announcement and achievement is monumental as kickboxing continues to grow and gain credibility across Canada,” the national governing body said on Facebook.