Athlete Spotlight: Brittney Walker

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Becoming a champion boxer wasn't Brittney Walker's intent when she joined the Aiken Boxing Club more than three years ago.

"I had an anger problem," said the 17-year-old Silver Bluff High School junior, who won a bronze medal at the U.S. Future Stars National Championships held March 11-16 in Colorado Springs, Colo.

Brittney lost to Samantha Guzman, of Oak Park, Ill., in the pinweight (101 pounds) division to finish third. Guzman wound up second in the competition, losing to Sylvia Vallapondo, of Houston.

When she arrived at the Aiken Boxing Club, Brittney spent about six months at the gym in a classroom setting before getting into a ring or putting on a pair of boxing gloves.

Boxers at the Aiken Boxing Club on York Street learn some life skills related to the gym's motto: Pride, Respect, Obedience, Loyalty, Intellect, Fidelity and Enthusiasm.

"We have classes on leadership. They've helped me interact with other people," she said.

Brittney became hooked on the sport after she made it into the ring, she said.

"After her first competition, she was motivated," said her coach, Leroy Green.

Watching the teen who once battled anger grow into a top competitor has been a treat for Green.

"This tournament (Future Stars), she really performed to a higher standard. It's awesome," he said.

Brittney's attitude has improved, and she is making progress in the classroom.

"I was making D's. Now, I'm making A's and B's and an occasional C," she said. "Boxing helps me stay focused."

She's also begun to focus on her future. With boxing, there are opportunities for scholarships, and Brittney hopes to land one in pursuit of a culinary arts degree.

"I would like to have my own restaurant," she said. "I like to cook."

Reach Charmain Brackett at czbrackett@hotmail.com.


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