BY EMILY SINGH
“With hope it’s possible.” These are the words that Fitzroy “The Whip” Vanderpool lives by. Born in Trinidad, Vanderpool went on to become a renowned professional world boxer with six titles under his belt. Vanderpool’s successful career took off in 1996 when he became the Canadian Welterweight Champion. In the following year, Vanderpool dominated the ring yet again and became the World Boxing Federation Inter-Continental Champion. Inside the ring, Vanderpool proved to be a force to be reckoned with. In 1998, he took home the title of World Boxing Council Fecarbox Champion and the following year the World Boxing Federation World Championship.
But who is Fitz “The Whip” Vanderpool outside of the room? Simple, he is a humanitarian by nature. After settling in Kitchener, Ontario and establishing a name for himself he decided to give back to the community. In 2003, Vanderpool fulfilled one of his long time dreams and opened his own boxing academy in Kitchener, Ontario. The Whip Boxing Academy is a state of the art facility that provides a place for young people to learn the art of boxing while building self-confidence, self-esteem and self-discipline.
The Kitchener-Waterloo area holds a special place in Vanderpool’s heart. After leaving his birthplace of Trinidad at the age of five, Kitchener soon became home for the Vanderpool’s. Aside from being an accomplished boxer, he is also an avid educator and role model within the community. Vanderpool regularly visits local school within the area to educate children on the importance of hard work and the tremendous impact education can have in ones life. As Nelson Mandela once said “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” Taking these wise words to heart, Vanderpool is an advocate for staying in school and pursuing your education. Vanderpool also devotes his time to participating in read-a-thons at local schools in and around the Kitchener-Waterloo area.
For Vanderpool, boxing was something that ran in his blood. Growing up in a family of boys, he watched as his two older brothers took up the sport and was immediately intrigued.
“My father started my older brother in boxing. He was a tall, skinny kid who got picked on often, so he told him he had to defend himself,” says Vanderpool. “Eventually after my two older brothers got involved with boxing, my father got myself and my two younger brothers into it.”
This is a lot to be said about a name; after all it becomes a part of your identity and who you are. Vanderpool took on the nickname “The Whip” which stands for ‘with hope it’s possible’ and stands by every word of that and encourages others to do the same.
“I tell people if they have a goal or a dream or something they want to accomplish they need to believe in themselves, work hard and make the sacrifices necessary,” says Vanderpool. “The bottom line is if you want to be successful you have to work hard.”
Giving back to the community is especially important to Vanderpool especially as he gears up for the 2016 Celebrity Men’s Fashion Event for the Grand River Hospital. All proceeds from this amazing event go towards the Kidney Foundation of Canada.
It doesn’t stop there, in addition to being a successful boxer, educator, role model and humanitarian he is also an accomplished writer! Vanderpool published his biography entitled “The Whip” in 2009 where he shares with the world his journey to becoming one the most recognized Canadian athlete of all time.
Although Vanderpool is now retired from his professional boxing career, he hasn’t hung up the gloves quite yet! His passion and fire for boxing still burns strong as he continues to train other at his boxing academy and works tirelessly within the community to keep boxing alive.