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Surrey's Gabri siblings throw and grow together with shot, hammer and discus

'I definitely do enjoy seeing their progress,' Dolly Gabri says of younger brother and sister
From left, Gabri family members Dolly, Gursher and Anhad of Surrey at North Delta Secondary's track on Wednesday, June 12, 2024. Dolly, a former standout athlete at Sullivan Heights Secondary, is coaching her younger siblings the sports of shot and discus.

Surrey is home to some rising-star track & field athletes in the throwing events of discus, shot and hammer. 

A Grade 10 student at North Surrey Secondary, Talia Phangura won the Junior Girls shot put (third year in a row), discus (second year in a row) and hammer at the B.C. High School Track & Field Championships in Nanaimo earlier this month. She became the first female athlete to ever win the “triple crown” of throws at the provincial meet, according to coach Brad Graham.

"She is the defending national age-class champion in shot put also, and will be looking to repeat in seven weeks," Graham explained.  

Also in Nanaimo in early June, for Enver Creek Secondary, Grade 9 student Gursher Gabri earned gold in the Junior Boys discus and shot put, as well as silver in the hammer throw.

Next year at Enver Creek, Gursher will be joined by his two-years-younger sister Anhad. The siblings are coached discus and shot by older sister Dolly Gabri, a former Sullivan Heights standout athlete who competed at the 2018 Youth Olympic Games and U20 Pan American Games in 2019, and Graham coaches them hammer.

Home from Utah State University and retired from competing, Dolly, 23, is aiming to study law and now focused on getting her young siblings throwing at the highest level possible.

"My college career didn't go as well as I expected (but) was still a great experience," Dolly conceded. "Now I'm trying to pass on my knowledge to my siblings and see how they do with it, you know. With them, usually we practice two hours and then we are at the gym for another hour and a half, five times a week, then competitions too."

Their father, Gurpreet, threw during his university days in India before moving to Canada and starting a family here.

"In elementary school he saw that there was track and field, so I tried it out," Dolly recalled. "He made me sign up for running, jumping and throwing, and clearly throwing was the one that stuck. It was fun to throw things far, you know, and I was excelling at it more than other kids."

Dolly is eight years older than Gursher and a full decade ahead of Anhad, and their coach-athlete relationship isn't always perfect.

"It's been a bit difficult because, you know, we're siblings, so they don't respect me in the way that a normal student and a coach would, right," Dolly said with a laugh. "They fool around and we have fun, but when it's competition season we need to get serious, and we do."

This summer, the Legions national championships will be held in Calgary in August, and the six-foot-tall Gursher will be there throwing.

"When I was five I remember seeing Dolly throwing really far, and I wanted to do that too, and tried copying her," he remembered.

Now in Grade 7 at Green Timbers Elementary, Anhad aims to make the track & field team at Enver Creek next year.

"I like hammer throw, and I think I do pretty good at that — and I'm definitely better than Dolly," Anhad said with a smile.

"That's true, she's not lying," Dolly added. "She can do the turns pretty well, I can't."

Gursher hopes to eventually throw his way to NCAA Division 1 competition, perhaps for University of California, Berkeley.

"They're good kids and they're doing their best right now, so I can definitely see that," Dolly said of her siblings. "I definitely do enjoy seeing their progress. My brother here, last year he went to Legions and I was really proud of him, so I'm having a good time."













Tom Zillich

About the Author: Tom Zillich

I cover entertainment, sports and news for Surrey Now-Leader and Black Press Media
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