Tasmyn Benny (Ngāti Porou) has her eyes on the prize as she prepares for the Olympic qualifiers next month. It will be the first time since London 2012 that an NZ boxing team will be represented at the Games.
With additional funding support, the Turua-raised fighter hopes to make top 6 at the qualifiers, which will be held in Jordan in the Middle East.
What started 5 years ago as a way to get fit for netball, has since developed into a passion that has taken her around the world.
"I love the challenge, I love how every time you get into that ring it's something different and I think you grow every time. Like just push yourself mentally and physically," Benny says.
The 21-year-old brought home the bronze medal at the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Australia.
She is now travelling to Auckland from Thames three days a week to train with 2012 NZ Olympic coach Cameron Todd and Olympian Alexis Pritchard.
"We have a really good team environment and a really good women's team as well," Todd says.
"My wife Alexis boxed in the women's team, boxed at the London Olympics, and we have other girls coming in too, so I think Tas really enjoys the comradery of the team."
Benny departs for the Middle East next month.