This is Alexis Pritchard – one of the most successful boxers NZ has ever seen. With a record holding 11 national titles to her name Alexis has won more national titles than any other boxer in New Zealand. She has competed at the World Champs, Commonwealth Games, and Olympic Games. Alexis was the first kiwi woman to ever win a bout in the Olympics.
Alexis Pritchard has taken life by the scruff of the neck, defying every stereotype in the book to become the person she is. She was once defined as a ‘coloured’ girl born into apartheid South Africa, Alexis is no stranger to segregation, discrimination, or social categorisation. But this has never stopped Alexis, talking with her was like talking with an old friend; she is calm, confident, and at peace with her life and her past.
Alexis draws strength from the strong female figures in her life that are her grandmother, godmother, and solo mother. Alexis explained that from the outside she may look “meek or weak”, but she said: “In the moments where I needed to be strong and show strength, I could.”
From apartheid South Africa, to saving her mothers life, Alexis, age 16 came to New Zealand with her mother in need of change. They “made life work” school was a struggle, money was even more of a strain, but Alexis and her mother are two strong and resilient women familiar with hard work.
Once Alexis found boxing at the age of 19 her life changed, she “fell in love with the training” and eventually with her coach, now husband Cameron Todd. Alexis stumbled into boxing. She said – “I never dreamt of being an athlete, that was never my aspiration – it just happened through a lot of hard work.” Throughout her boxing career she also attained two degrees and always maintained at least one job on the side. Alexis just makes things work – because she’s willing to make the kind of sacrifices that are going to benefit her goals. However, “We don’t call them sacrifices in our family, we call them choices.” “I like to be good at things, if you’re gonna do it, do it right, or at least try to do it right.” It's evident that Alexis has done this in the boxing ring and in her life.
Alexis worked for everything she has, nothing has been handed to her and she prides herself on this. “There was no money, I boxed for love; not a cent.” Life has literally and figuratively thrown Alexis more than a few punches to the face. She’s chosen to respect those punches, get back in the ring, and throw a harder punch right back. In those moments where she is gets scared or feels frightened she will "step back, move around, and fight".
A girl from apartheid torn South Africa - Alexis is now a business owner, an olympian, a national champion, a mentor. A genuine 'HUMAN HEROINE'.
Cheers Lex – you’re an inspiration.
I thought I was tough until I went to a Boxing class at Alexis's gym Wreck Room in Auckland... Got my butt kicked, it was awesome. Mad respect for this woman!
Keep an eye out for our exclusive Alexis Pritchard children's book coming soon! Written by Rosie White and illustrated by fellow Football Fern, Hannah Wilkinson!