Kate Peter, a female boxer, won two gold medals in the last two editions of the National Sports Festival. In this interview with BIMBO AJAYI, the two weight division champion spoke about her boxing career and her future plans.
How do yo feel winning your second gold medal at the National Sports Festival?
I am so delighted about it because it is not easy to win a gold medal at an event that involves athletes from all over Nigeria. Winning a bronze or silver medal in a competition of that magnitude is a great stride, let alone going home with a gold medal. Besides, the fact that my labour in the build-up to the games was not in vain is another reason I am so happy. In fact, our preparations for the games was so rigorous and not a tea-party as many people erroneously believed. At a point in time, our coaches had to collect all our phones so that we would not be distracted by our friends and family members during the camping.
Was your showing at the Eko 2012 boosted in any way by your previous experience at the Garden City Games?
To be honest, it was more challenging for me to fight at the Eko 2012 than the Garden City Games. The reason was that I fought in different weight categories at both games. While I fought in the 64kg weight category at the Garden City Games I was featured in the 69kg weight category at the Eko 2012. The implication of this was that I faced bigger and stronger opposition at the last games because I did not fight in my normal weight categeory. That was the reason I found it more difficult to compete at the Eko 2012 than at the Garden City Games.
How did you start your boxing career?
I never knew that I would end up as a boxer even though I have loved the sport from my childhood. For instance, I used to be very excited whenever I watched boxing films but I wasn’t nursing the dream of becoming a boxer. However, I changed my mind when a boxing gym was built in my neighbourhood. I thought it wouldn’t be a bad idea to join the gym since it would give me the opportunity to show my love for the sport. But before I could say Jack Robinson, I have become a boxer for real.
What was the reaction of your parents at the initial stage of your career?
It was very difficult at the initial stage because my parents thought it was odd for a lady to choose boxing as a career. As a matter of fact, they did everything within their ability to stop me from going into the sport because they thought I might end up as a failure in life. They hindered me from going to trainings and scolded me seriously anytime I went to gym without their approval. Sometimes, they hid my training kit in order to force me to give up on the idea. But they began to pipe down later when they realised that I wasn’t doing badly in the sport. And since then I think I can count on them for moral support any time I have a fight.
What was your greatest moment since you started boxing?
To be honest, I have had wonderful moments since I started boxing. But I think my greatest moment was my semi-final bout at the Eko 2012. I was somehow nervous before the fight because I knew that a loss could jeopardise my chances of winning my second gold medal at the festival. But I never knew that the bout would be my fastest since I started boxing because my opponent threw in the towel before we even threw a single punch. Up till now, I can’t really say what exactly made the lady to quit when we had not even started to fight. In fact, the drama remains my greatest moment since I started my boxing carreer.
Have you any plan of turning professional now that you have made your mark in amateur boxing?
That is what I am discussing with my coach and my parents at the moment. And the outcome of the discussion will be crucial to my career because it will determine my future. But I think going abroad in furtherance of my career will be the best for me considering the fact that we don’t have standard training equipment in the country. The dream of every amateur boxer is to go professional and my own will not be an exception. I will love to travel abroad just like other professional boxers that relocate to Europe or America in furtherance of their careers.