Karen is fight­ing fit

Auckland City Harbour News - - News - By Scott Morgan

Karen Coults isn’t your typ­i­cal kick­boxer.

The 43-year-old mum first took up the sport six years ago for fit­ness af­ter the birth of her sec­ond child.

“I put on so much weight dur­ing preg­nancy,” she says.

“Then kick­box­ing just came into my mind. I thought what a great way to get my­self back into shape.”

But a de­ci­sion to start teach­ing the sport as a per­sonal trainer con­vinced the Green­lane res­i­dent to get in the ring and fight.

“I thought: ‘If I’m teach­ing this I need to know what it feels like get­ting in there’.”

Af­ter three matches, Karen has had a draw and two nar­row losses, in­clud­ing miss­ing out on a New Zealand feath­er­weight ti­tle against Re­becca Knox by one point ear­lier this month.

“She’d had a few more fights and got a flurry of hits in the last round,” says Karen of her com­peti­tor.

De­spite the loss, she says she loves the feel­ing of be­ing com­pet­i­tive against girls half her age, al­though she ad­mits to suf­fer­ing from nerves be­fore a match.

“You have to find a real men­tal strat­egy to stay sharp. It pushes you be­yond that limit.”

Karen’s eight-year-old son Liam is one of her big­gest sup­port­ers. “He said to me: ‘Mum I’m proud of you. I get sad when you don’t win but you’re out there do­ing it’.”

And with her fam­ily re­lo­cat­ing to Thai­land later in the year, Karen will have the chance to im­merse her­self in the sport fur­ther.

Un­til then she will con­tinue to train, al­though she hasn’t de­cided if there’s an­other fight on the cards be­fore she leaves.

Karen’s hus­band Mal­colm Coults says he al­ways gets ex­cited when she steps into the ring.

“Oc­ca­sion­ally I hold pads for her to kick, but af­ter a while I feel like my arms are about to fall off.”

And trainer Doug Viney, a top kick­boxer him­self, is con­fi­dent she can keep fight­ing at a com­pet­i­tive level for some time to come.

“Karen’s do­ing well. If she be­lieves she can do it, she can do it,” he says.

Pho­tos: JA­SON OXENHAM

Kickin’ it: Kick­boxer Karen Coults shows off her skills in the ring, while trainer Doug Viney of­fers some ad­vice.

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