Born in Wells-next-the-Sea, Norfork 1978
I joined the Navy in 2001 and it was during my general training on board HMS Grafton in 2002, where I donned my first pair of boxing gloves. The initial intention was to get fit, but the boxing soon turned competitive and I stepped in the ring for my first bout in June 2005. Three years on, I am the number 1 female featherweight in Britain, I have represented England on 15 occasions, and am ranked number 3 in Europe and number 5 in the World.
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| To date I have had 30 bouts and my achievements are as follows:|
2005 – 2007 Royal Navy and Combined Services Champion
2005 – ABA Finalist
2005 – Combined Services Female Sportswoman of the year nominee
2005 – Royal Navy Sportswoman of the year
2006 – ABA Class B Champion
2006 – Gold Medal - HSK Cup, Denmark
2006 – Gold Medal - Hancock Box Cup, Denmark
2006 – First England vest - European Championship - Warsaw, Poland
2006 – Silver Medal - Angered Box Cup, Sweden
2007 – Silver Medal – Gallina-Crodino Box Cup, Switzerland
2007 – England v Sweden Dual – Winner
2007 – England Team - World Ranking tournament – Istanbul, Turkey.
2008 – Silver Medal Maj Box Cup, Sweden
2008 – ¼ Finalist Ahmet Comert Cup – Istanbul, Turkey
2008 – Gold medallist European Union Championships, Liverpool.
2008 – ¼ Finalist Female World Championships – Ningbo, China.
Ranked No 1 in Great Britain, Ranked No 2 in Commonwealth, Ranked No 3 in Europe and
Ranked No 5 in the World
When I am out of uniform I live, eat and breathe boxing. I train 4-5 hours a day outside of working hours, 6 days a week. A typical day’s training regime begins at 5am for a 2 hour fitness session before work. At lunchtime I concentrate on strength and stamina for an hour and this leaves the evenings to focus on boxing technique, sparring and punch endurance.
Three out of four weekends are spent travelling around the country to train with top boxers and coaches to ensure I get the best from my training. I regularly travel internationally, both to train and to compete. By the end of this year I will have visited 10 countries and represented England on 12 occasions both within Europe and further a field. With only a month of off-season in December the year is punctuated with major tournaments and my training regime is designed to allow me to peak regularly throughout the year with a good standard of fitness being maintained from start to finish.
|Following a short off season in December, 2009 is set to be busier than ever. Training is planned for the following competitions:|
Jan 09 – Great Britain vs Sweden (first GB team for females)
Feb 09 – Norway Box Cup
Mar 09 – Multinational tournament, Germany
May 09 – Maj Box Cup, Stockholm, Sweden
May 09 – Ahmet Comert Cup, Istanbul, Turkey
Jun 09 – England ABAs
Jul 09 – Witch Box Cup - Pecs, Hungary
Aug 09 – EU Championships
Oct 09 – European Championships
Nov 09 – Venus Box Cup, Denmark.
Nov 09 – Angered Box Cup, Sweden
At present, female boxing is not part of the Olympic Games. It is the only Olympic sport which does not allow females to compete. For the last year, the International women’s boxing commission and AIBA have been lobbying the IOC to include female boxing in the 2012 Games in London. The IOC attended the recent Female World Championships and were impressed by the quality and standard of the boxing and look very likely to accept this bid. The decision concerning its inclusion is expected at the Earliest in Dec 08 and at the latest Oct 09.
|My goals for 2009 are to retain my ABA national title and to win a European Championship medal. In the longer term my ultimate goal is to win a World Championship and an Olympic Gold medal.|
|• Born in Wells-next-the-Sea, Norfork 1978.|
• 1991 – 1995 Northgate High School, East Dereham, Norfolk (GCSEs)
• 1995 – 1997 Fakenham College, Norfolk (A Levels)
• 1996 – Awarded Royal Navy A Level Scholarship.
• 1997 – 1998 Admin assistant for Church of England
• 1998 - Awarded Royal Navy University Bursary.
• 1998 – 2001 Keele University studying Cognitive Neuro-psychology (1st Class Hons)
• 2001 – 2002 Joined BRNC Dartmouth as a Warfare Officer
• 2002 – HMS Grafton for Common Fleet Time training
• 2003 – HMS Lindisfarne for Specialist Fleet Training
• 2003 – HMS Collingwood for Junior Warfare Officer’s Course
• 2003 – 2005 HMS Nottingham as Officer of the Watch.
• 2005 – 2006 Basra, Iraq conducting Psychological Operations.
• 2006 – Command Training Group, Command course instructor & Leadership Training
• 2007 – 2008 Physical Training and Recreation Officer, HMS SULTAN
• 2008 – present Staff Officer Physical Education, HMS Temeraire.
| Having grown up in a small fishing village, my aim was always to work on or near the sea. The military lifestyle had always appealed, so from the age of 12 I wanted to join the Royal Navy as a warfare officer. Having received an A level scholarship and a University bursary I was set to join BRNC on completion of my degree.|
Having successfully passed out of BRNC with the Commodore’s award for academic achievement I completed my sea training onboard HMS Grafton conducting anti-narcotics operations in the Caribbean and on HMS Lindisfarne conducting fishery protection around the British coast. After a short stint at HMS Collingwood for a warfare officers course, I joined HMS Nottingham as Officer of the Watch. Having brought the ship out of refit and completed whole ship operational training (BOST) we deployed to the Arabian Gulf to conduct anti-terrorism operations. Towards the latter half of my appointment the ship spent three months on the east coast of the USA to conduct NATO exercises and diplomatic duties including the attendance at Fleet Week in New York.
Fancying a broadening appointment and driven by my University studies I chose to volunteer for an operational role in Basra, Iraq. I underwent Psychological Operations training and deployed to sunnier climes to work in the Divisional Headquarters at Bara Air Stations. I spent 6 months leading a team in the attempt to win the hearts and minds of the local Iraqis and smooth the transition for International troop withdrawal.
On completion of my operational role I was appointed temporarily to the Command Training Group, HMS Collingwood, as a course officer for Leadership training courses. I spent a thoroughly enjoyable 6 months delivering Command, leadership and management training to senior rates including practical leadership tasks, leadership exercises, physical challenges in the Brecon Beacons and leadership theory.
Following this short appointment I moved to HMS Sultan as the Command, Leadership and Management Officer and Physical Training and Recreation Officer. This involved managing the physical development of 2000 marine engineering trainees and permanent staff and providing through life leadership and management training. After 2 years at HMS Sultan I find myself still within the Physical Development world but dealing with Service wide policy based at HMS Temeraire. This not only allows me to further my knowledge in the PT world within which my ambition is to remain, but it also places me in close proximity to the home of Royal Navy Boxing and access to fantastic coaching and facilities.
|Throughout University I played a number of sports including hockey and rugby but it wasn’t until well into my Royal Navy training that I picked up my first pair of boxing gloves. Whilst on Common Fleet Time training in the Caribbean onboard HMS Grafton, the ships company enjoyed a summer fete on the flight deck. One of the attractions was to pay a pound and get in the ring with the PTI, a heavyweight champion boxer, and try your luck. |
All in the aid of charity I duly paid my pound, donned the gloves and came out victorious having delivered a lucky punch and a small black eye to the champion. Requiring a serious fitness regime and lose a considerable amount of weight, I was subsequently recruited for boxing training in preparation for the Navy Novice championships when the ship returned to base port. One year later and three stone lighter, I was training every day of the week and began to train with the Royal Navy Boxing Squad. Sadly as female boxing remained in its infancy in 2002, it wasn’t until 2005 when I stepped into the ring for the first time.
My first contest was in the Female ABA finals against an extremely experienced opponent. Unfortunately I lost, but this spurred me on to train harder and one year later I represented England for the first time in the European Boxing Championships in Poland. Since then I have boxed 13 times for my country and visited 10 countries. There are three highlights of my boxing career so far. The first was a Royal Navy Boxing team tour to Barbados. I was the only female in a group of 25. Two weeks were spent in glorious sunshine and surroundings training for two shows against Caribbean teams. On this occasion I beat the Pan AM boxing champion. My second highlight was winning my first major championship medal this year in the European Union women’s boxing championships. It was the first major female competition to be held in England and to win gold in front of a home crowd was very special. My final highlight was at the recent Women’s World Boxing Championships in China. It was an awesome experience to represent my country at the highest level and was pleased to reach the quarter finals and to secure a world ranking of 5th in the world at my weight.
Within England itself the move for the Olympics is supported at all levels and I have just been selected as part of the first Great Britain squad to box in an international dual against Sweden at the end of January 2009. This is the first time Great Britain have fielded a female boxing squad and is a positive step in the right direction.
photo Getty Images
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