By Ryan McKinnon
At 10 years of age, Emily ‘Boom Boom’ Vigneault is the youngest athlete in your Youth National Team, but represents one of our biggest hopefuls in the championships. She is also the team’s lightest competitor. She may be small in stature, but don’t let that deceive you. Emily is more explosive inside the ring than her nickname would suggest. Those that are familiar with Emily know she packs a serious punch. Watch her most recent competition on YouTube against Sofia Ellis at the SheFights event earlier this year to get an idea of how explosive her style is. This young nak muay is more than ready to take on the world’s top competition in her division.
Emily has expressed how honoured she is to have been selected to the Youth National Team. “It was hard to explain how I first felt I when I found out that I was selected to the team. Now I feel really special, and more confident in my skills as a fighter because people believe in me.” Her father Eric noticed her love for the sport immediately after she began training under Kru Steve Lee at Redemption Muay Thai in Bowmanville. Emily’s love and dedication for the sport is so strong, her father had to create a specialized study plan for her to balance school and muaythai. Eric told Muaythai Canada, “we wake up at 5:30 am everyday, and Emily eats breakfast while doing her homework before school. After school, Emily trains in muaythai and boxing for 2 to 3 hours a night, then comes home to sleep.” This is one young athlete who literally eats, sleeps, breaths, drinks, and lives muaythai everyday.
Emily has big plans for herself in the sport. She expressed a strong desire to continue representing Canada in future international events, and said she’ll be ready for the Olympics when the time comes. She has been competing since 6. Emily is currently out in Calgary, and is training with one of Canada’s top Muaythai and kickboxing camps, Team Smandych. However she will be coached at the World Championships by her first mentor Steve Lee, who is one of her biggest supporters, and a big believer that his hard-hitting 10 years old firecracker will do great things in her career.
When asked what she wants to do in Thailand besides competing in front of the world, Emily replied, “I want to see the Banchamek Gym and hopefully meet Buakaw.” He is her favourite fighter. “I’m also a big fan of Jake MacKenzie,” a fantastic athlete from Redemption who recently brought home a championship belt from the World Muay Thai Expo in Iowa. With coaches, parents, and athletes around her like these, there is no doubt Emily Vigneault will be leaving a lasting impression at the World Youth Championships in August.
Stop by Emily’s donation page on the Muaythai Canada website here, and support her dream to become a World Champion.
Ryan McKinnon is the host of The Bloody Ballet Podcast and website, found at www.thebloodyballet.com. He is a regular blog contributor to www.lannamma.com and www.mississaugaelite.com. You can find him coaching 5 days a week at the Mississauga Elite Training Center.