Bradford College's Women's Boxing Programme has now been recognised as part of the London 2012 Inspire Programme. The Inspire programme recognises innovative and exceptional projects that are directly inspired by the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
Paul Porter, Bradford Boxing Development Officer has been instrumental in seeing the Bradford Police and College Boxing Academy go from strength to strength. Paul, an amateur boxer for ten years for Enfield Amateur Boxing Club, came to Bradford College from the Amateur Boxing Association of England two year ago to set up the Boxing Academy, which was supported by the Police Community Clubs of Great Britain, the local police and Bradford Council’s B Active campaign.
Elaborating further on why the College has received the prestigious ‘Inspire Mark’ the badge of the Inspire Programme, Paul said: We’ve been awarded the accolade specifically for the work we’ll be doing with 20 female students from the College and 20 from the Appleton Academy. This has been linked to the fact that the programme has been inspired by the decision to include Women's Boxing in the 2012 Olympics for the first time.”
Paul continued: “We’re taking a minimum of 40 female students and putting them through the Contender Boxing Programme, followed by the Boxing Leaders Programme. It’s a five session programme for the Contender Award, which teaches them the basic skills. They will then progress to the Boxing Leaders Programme, which will give them the opportunity to get on the boxing coaching ladder. We really can take boxers all the way through the programme. If someone’s got the ability and the determination then we can take them up to the regional, national and international level, to become world class boxers.”
Former Bradford College student Nicola Adams trained at the Bradford Police and College Academy Boxing Club when it opened in 2008, and Savannah Marshall took part in the 2009 ABAE Female Box Camp. They both won silver medals at the World Championships in Barbados recently.
Commenting on female boxer’s Nicola and Savannah, Paul said: “Both are boxing at Olympic weights. They’re both high achievers’ so it looks highly likely that we will have at least two female boxers that have trained at the Academy taking part in the Olympics 2012 - and hopefully coming back with medals. Paul remarked: “Allowing women to box in the Olympics has been the ‘final piece in the jigsaw’ and will boost female participation.” There are now more than 800 registered and competing female boxers in England and many more women training in boxing gyms throughout Britain.
Bradford College is helping to boost female participation in the sport and is rapidly becoming one of the leading players in boxing education - making huge strides since the opening of the Academy Boxing Club in 2008. Paul laughed and said: “We didn’t even have a pair of gloves when I first joined the College. Now we’ve got the Boxing Academy and we host a lot of national events in conjunction with the Amateur Boxing Association, where potential Olympic class boxers are training.
Paul concluded: “The inspire mark is difficult to get. You have to prove you have a good quality programme, which we have. Any female boxer that joins our Academy can fulfil their true potential, with the opportunity through Bradford College to become an international class boxer.”
The Inspire programme is run by the London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games. It is an opportunity for everyone to be a part of the London 2012 Games – a broad participation programme spanning sport participation, education, sustainability, volunteering, and business opportunities & skills. New opportunities are being created to inspire young people and encourage the whole of the UK to join in.
Seb Coe, Chair, London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games concluded: “We want to use the power of the Games to inspire change. The Inspire programme is recognising the work our partners all round the UK are doing to help us achieve this vision now – three years out from the start of the Games. I congratulate everyone involved in Bradford College's Women's Olympic Boxing Programme for securing the Inspire mark and wish you every success with your work.”