Boxing talent Sam Goodman has his sights set on medalling at the Commonwealth Games in the future, after standing on the podium at the AIBA Youth World Boxing Championships in Russia.
The 18-year-old, who trains out of the PCYC Sutherland club, returned home from Russia this week with a bronze medal.
He won his first three fights, to make the semifinals, before losing to a Kazakhstan fighter.
“It was the best experience I have had in my life. There is no feeling like winning a fight for your country.
“And wearing the Australian flag on your shirt was a massive thing for me.”
Upwards of 40 fighters from around the world featured in Sam’s division, the under-19 56kg class.
He said it was the first time he had represented Australia and he hoped to represent his country again in the future, on an even bigger stage.
“It showed me how close I am to doing something special,” he said. “The big goal for the next couple of years is a Commonwealth Games gold medal and then I will set my eyes on the Olympic Games after that.”
To gain selection in the eight-strong Australian team which headed to Russia, Sam had to win the state title and the national title this year.
“I had three fights at nationals and won all of those and that was the selection process to get to Russia.”
Sam will step up into the men’s division next year.
“I’m going up to men’s next year, but I’ve been fighting men since I was 14 or 15 so it won’t be anything new.
“Next year at state finals I will get to take the head gear off for the first time and that will be pretty good.”
Sam, who lives in Wollongong and travels up to Sutherland most days to train, said a big thank you to his parents and his coaches, including Sean Fitzpatrick and Joel Keegan.
He said he started boxing at the age of 10 and moved to the Sutherland club when he was 12 to train under Fitzpatrick.
Sam said the Sutherland club was very strong at present with three national champs and seven state champs training at the gym.