A Yellowknife kickboxing coach has led a team of Canadian youth athletes to the country's best finish.
It was part of an international tournament that was held in Venice, Italy from September 30 to October 9. The World Association of Kickboxing junior championship included 2,500 athletes from 60 different countries.
John Stanley, the co-owner and coach at Stanley Boxing and Fitness, said the team he coached finished 15th overall, the best finish for a Canadian youth team to date.
"I learned a lot from the tournament and experience. Even though I've been coaching for 25 years, I try never to stop learning," he said.
This was Stanley's first time coaching in a world championship.
"Just watching some of these major countries and how they perform and how they run their athletes and what they do as a whole was a great benefit to me."
He said it was the girls on the team who "stole the show" including one from Alberta who won a world championship in the light contact category.
"The majority of them, I had only met them once before in training camp," he said. "In some ways it was easier because I didn't have any of my own athletes [from N.W.T] involved. There's no you know, there's no emotion. There's no nerves."
Going forward Stanley said the gym is preparing its athletes for a tournament that will be held in Yellowknife in February.