By Josh Saggau
Chanmit Phulka may be just a first year horticulture student at Kwantlen, but he already has dreams of taking over the family business — Maple Leaf Nursery in Matsqui.
That might have to wait until he’s done with his wrestling career though, because Phulka is one of the top wrestlers in Canada in his weight class.
He was recently in Edmonton from March 24-27 for the Junior National Freestyle Champhionships where he finished first in his weight class at 96 kg, beating out five other competitors.
“I was really well prepared and some of my stiffest competition that I had beaten in the previous years dropped down to the weight class below, so that just kind of left me alone without much competition,” Phulka said of his three straight wins that earned him top spot.
Phulka will now represent Canada in the Junior World Wrestling Championships in Romania this July.
He said he is very excited for the opportunity. He trains five times a week with the Burnaby Mountain Wrestling Club — the same club that helped produce Olympic gold medalist Daniel Igali — under coaches Dave McKay and Justin Abdou, in the hopes that he can represent Canada and himself well at the international competition this summer.
Phulka’s journey into wrestling began in grade seven at Eugene Reimer Middle School in Abbotsford.
“I just went to the practice one day and started wrestling with the school team and I found out there was a local club [Mire Piri Wrestling Club] doing it as well, so I began wrestling there during the summer.”
Phulka said he had a good feel for it right from the start. But Phulka’s first love has always been horticulture.
“I love this industry. Working with plants, both indoors and outside, is always a rewarding way to earn a living, and being in the ultimate ‘green industry’ it’s good to know that our company’s products are also good for the environment.”
He said there is little time for anything else in his life besides school, wrestling and horticulture, but that he likes it that way.
He said Kwantlen is pushing him in his studies because they know he has a background in horticulture and admits the program is “definitely” preparing him for his ultimate goal of taking over the family business.
Still, when asked which he likes better, wrestling or horticulture, all he could manage was a laugh and an “I don’t really know.”
Filed Under: Sports
About the Author: The Runner is owned by students and created for students. We are the premier news and culture source for students at Kwantlen Polytechnic University.
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