Boxing Ont Legend!
Hall of Famer!
Learn from the BEST !
Fitz The Whip Vanderpool
Fitz The Whip' was born in Trinidad and Tobago to John and Margaret Vanderpool - the middle child of 5 boys. After the family came to Canada in 1972, all of the boys trained as amateur boxers, but quit in 1984. However, watching the 1988 Olympics lit a fire under Fitz and he decided to shoot for the 1992 Olympics. He began training and fighting again, and chocked up 4 losses to the Canadian champion for 4 years in a row.
At the 1992 Olympic trials, Fitz was the only challenger to actually beat a champion - however he had to beat the champion twice in order to represent Canada. The next day he fought the champ and lost - he would not represent Canada at the 1992 Olympics. His dream shattered, he decided to turn professional. However, before he turned pro, Fitz fought and won the 1993 Canadian Amateur championship.
Fitz had high hopes becoming a world champion, and blazed quote a trail attaining his goal. Fitz The Whip' Vanderpool went on to win the:
Canadian Professional Boxing Federation title
World Boxing Federation Intercontinental title
World Boxing Council Welterweight Fecarbox title
World Boxing Federation Superwelterweight World title
World Boxing Council Superwelterweight Fecarbox title.
Since retiring from professional boxing:
Fitz is the owner & president of Vanderpool Fitness & Boxing in Kitchener, Ontario, Canada.
Fitz facilitates fitness boxing programs in Waterloo Region schools in the Region of Waterloo, teaching the students fitness through boxing and inspiring them to be successful individuals.
Having lived the dream of becoming a World champion Fitz also speaks at schools inspiring young people to set goals and chase their dreams.
As an International Fire Safety Fitz speaks on fire safety and prevention.
Fitz is one of the first 10 people inducted into Eastwood Collegiate's Wall of Recognition.
In 2008, Fitz The Whip' was inducted into the Waterloo County Hall of Fame.
In 2009, Fitz co-wrote his book 'The Whip' with Sandra Cole. (produced by Waterloo Region law firm Morell Kelly) This inspirational book shows how anyone can chase their dream and succeed, even when the odds are stacked against you.
With Hope It's Possible!
L'il Whips Training Program
Classes are Wednesday 5pm - 5:45pm and Saturday 12:30 - 1:15pm. If you have a 5 - 9 yr old that would like to get involved in this amazing disciplined sport. Contact Coach or come to the gym for more information. Its great fun and a rewarding activity
Fitz "The Whip" Vanderpool Documentary
Check out a new documentary about Fitz "The Whip" Vanderpool.
Buy this book online
You can meet Fitz Vanderpool at this year's Word on the Street festival, Sunday, September 27, Victoria Park, Kitchener. This festival marks the official book launch of The Whip - the story of how a hometown boy made good on the world boxing scene, ultimately bringing home a world title. Co-authors Fitz Vanderpool and Alexandra Cole will be at the Waterloo Region Record tent from 12:30pm - 1:30pm.
For more information about Vanderpool's boxing academy, his career, and his upcoming fundraising event., by Laura Johnston
the ring to mentor,
inspire and be there
for his "kids"
Kitchener's other famous boxer says he's just an ordinary guy trying to do extraordinary things. "Many people don't know there's a world champion boxer living right here, in Kitchener," Fitz Vanderpool conceded. "But, the things I want to do, the goals I have right now, and the dreams I need to fulfill, can all be done here, in Kitchener." So, after self-promoting and selffinancing himself to winning five professional boxing titles, including the World Boxing Federation's Super Welterweight World Championship Title, what else could Vanderpool want to accomplish? His mission, he says, is to inspire people to follow their dreams. It's become his motto, and the underlying message he tries to leave –whether with the students at his boxing academy, the young people he meets during his school tours, or basically, anyone he strikes up conversations with.
"With hope, it's possible - that's the message behind WHIP," Vanderpool explained. "You have to hold tight to your dream, surround yourself with good people, and remember that we are all gifted, and each of us can do anything we want. Keep trying...failure is never final."
Vanderpool is so committed to his message that he dishes out serious punishment to anyone who says things are hopeless.
"In my gym, I can't' is a swear word, and worth 10 push-ups," he jokes.
Vanderpool has just completed co-authoring his biography with Kitchener writer Alexandra Cole. Cole describes the dynamic boxer as someone with a heart of gold who is always there for his "kids". "I'm quite sure Fitz has no idea the level of impact and influence he has over his students," Cole said. "He is never too busy for them, he'll take their cell calls whenever they call, he really cares about them and believes in them. And they know it."
Cole added that Vanderpool's road to success was a long, tough journey – making his accomplishments that much more impressive.
Vanderpool comes from a family of boxers. The middle child of five boys, he jokes that most of his childhood was spent seeking attention and getting noticed.
Vanderpool explained that his family got involved in boxing after his older brother was bullied at school.
"My dad wanted us to learn how to stand up for ourselves, to learn self-defense," he said. "I started when I was nine-years-old and life suddenly became all boxing and school. In 1984, when I was 17, I decided to leave the sport. But in 1988, I reached a turning point in my life."
While watching the 1988 Olympics, Vanderpool couldn't shake the feeling that he should be there. In 1989, he came back to boxing with the hopes of going to the 1992 Olympics. He had, however, three strikes against him: he was older, he was no longer connected with key people in the sport, and he had no financial backing. "None of that mattered," he said. "I wanted to be a champ. I trained, I spent all my savings – I was back in the sport." Later, at 26 years old, Vanderpool decided to turn professional, despite the fact that most boxers are considered to be in their prime at 19 to 21 years old.
A series of fights, a stream of losses, and a lot of politics followed him. What never left, was his belief in his dream.
"I believed in myself – certainly partly due to my upbringing and important people who have influenced my life. The biggest lesson I learned was that you have to start with yourself and believe in yourself. If you don't ... who will?" Today, Vanderpool runs a boxing and fitness academy for students of all ages; and he even offers fitness classes for women.
"Many people just enjoy using the gym to work out," he said, "but self-defense is also a key thing we teach."
Vanderpool said boxing is more than a contact sport.
"It's a one-on-one sport and you – and only you – are ultimately accountable for your success or your failures. What you take from your training, how you fine-tune your skills and how you handle the situation all contribute to the end result," he said.
Vanderpool's achievements have been recognized by both his peers and his community. He was named Kitchener-Waterloo's Inaugural Athlete of the Year, was recognized for his contribution to fire safety and named International Fire Safety Ambassador, and was recently inducted into the Waterloo County Hall of Fame – the first boxer ever to be granted this prestigious recognition. It's this induction that prompted him to write his memoir.
"It's such an honour to be inducted into the Hall of Fame, and even more of an honour to have that happen while I'm still healthy, active and alive. It felt like the time was right to tell my message of hope and following your dreams. My father once told me how proud he was of my accomplishments - so proud that he could die tomorrow a very happy man. I just wanted to document my journey and hopefully inspire others," he explained.
"I tell my son, success is measured in accomplishments, not dollars and cents," he said. "Money doesn't validate you, your actions do."
And, for Fitz, having success right here, at home, in Kitchener, is exactly where he expected to find it.