Choose your stance, stand on guard,
jab, slip, move – get into the groove,
roll with the punches, give them back in bunches….
1998 was the first time Yvette Raposo stepped into the boxing club.
Despite achieving high marks in school, she had just recently dropped out of University, twice. What she was truly seeking could only be found in one unique place outside of herself, the gym, where she had already established much needed comfort and new confidence as a teenager struggling with body image issues. So at 20 years old she landed a desk job at a small privately owned gym which also happened to boast a sophisticated boxing program in the basement. Little did Yvette know how that place would continually and persistently lure her into the world of the fight-game with all it’s blood, sweat and tears that followed.
Everything about boxing made sense to Yvette because it was so much more than a sport: it was a way of life, an understanding of oneself and others, a practice to be respected and highly regarded for it’s essence, beauty and possibility – it was her future.
Day to day lessons was now hands on with fists up where the school of hard knocks would replace the more traditional form of education. However, making her mark in the ring meant letting go of family expectations and societal pressures to get a ‘real’ job. Her hardest fight for many years came from paving new paths which never existed before, creating her own way, and finally carving out the career she dreamed of.
Being female in a highly male-dominated sport added a more complicated angle to the equation which made up her identity as a woman fighter turned teacher, promoter and now respected Ring Announcer.
As a successful entrepreneur and spokesperson for the sport, Yvette uses her experience and influence to inspire and encourage others to pursue their own paths, no matter how outrageous it may seem to others. Her keys to success have been persistence and consistency over her 19 year career. Just like any good fight, she knows the outcome is always worth the work you put into your game. You are your own toughest opponent sometimes and although we may seem to stand alone in the ring, or on the stage of life, there always exists the right team of people at the right time who will stand in your corner: who believe in you when you need it most.
Yvette is now pushing herself one step further and is planning on a trip to Ghana in West Africa, to train within the boxing community in the renowned area of Bukom, James Town, Accra and support local charity work going on with junior boxers through an educational programme run by Sporting Opportunities.
Yvette is based in Canada, Toronto where she runs her operation. Check it out here by watching her motivational videos and be inspired to follow your dreams.