FIVE boxers who recently won state titles recently will compete for national prizes in Adelaide this weekend.
They are Tyeisha Palu and Ryan Rafferty, both 12 and from Claremont Meadows; Raymond Wood, 13, of Cranebrook; Jasmeen Hudson, 15, of Kingswood; and Shelley Watts, 25, of Glenmore Park.
"This is my third state title; I had won a national title in 2011," Watts said.
Tyeisha has been training for five years.
"It's like an art, that's why I like doing it," she said.
"I'm excited about Adelaide. I'm also a bit nervous, but once I'm in there the adrenalin kicks in."
All of them regularly train at the Penrith gym, Jabout.
Their trainer, Jabout's owner Mark Grech, said that although boxing was an individual sport, teamwork was still important.
"You're on your own when you get into the ring," Grech said.
"But we are a team; everything we do, we do together.
"We warm up together and the fact that they compete in a gym lets them work on their skills."
Jasmeen said winning a state title was an emotional experience.
"Everything I'd trained for and the hard work won it.
"I love doing this because I meet a lot of great people and have amazing experiences."
Raymond said that like his teammates he was looking forward to competing in a national game.
"It'll be the first time I've competed for that," he said.
"I've been training for four years and I'm pretty excited about this."
Ryan said perhaps he took up the sport because of his family history.
"My grandfather Patrick Toner was a boxing trainer in Scotland," he said.
"But I think what I most like about boxing is the adrenalin and excitement."
Grech said one of the most rewarding things about his training was seeing the changes it made in young people.
"Confidence is the main thing it gives them," he said.
"Boxing is a safe environment to practise in and it gives them confidence to deal with bad situations.
"But it's a sport; if anyone fights in the street they're not welcome in the gym."