Following the recent announcement that women's boxing would be included in the Olympic Games for the first time in 2012, Bradford Boxing Development Officer, Paul Porter, hopes it will raise the profile of the sport and encourage more women into the ring.
Paul is keen to see more women participating in the sport and was proud to host the highly successful National Women’s Box Camp, recently at Bradford College. Speaking about the success of the event, Paul said: “The city boasts some real boxing talent, which was evident during the training sessions.”
Paul an amateur boxer for ten years came to Bradford College from the Amateur Boxing Association of England last year to set up the new Boxing Academy, which was supported by the Police Community Clubs of Great Britain, the local police and Bradford Council’s B Active campaign.
Five members of the England team stepped into the ring during the College’s National Women’s Box Camp, including Lucy O’Connor, an Officer in Royal Navy and England and EU Champion at 54 Kilos and Sharon Holford, England and EU Champion at 51 Kilos. Paul remarked: “I’m confident that now women’s boxing has been accepted in the Olympics, it’s quite likely that one or two of these five women will represent England in 2012.” Paul added: “This week sees these great sportswomen head off to the European Championships.”
Other successful women boxers have passed through the doors of Bradford College; former student and recent World Championship silver medallist, Nicola Adams also trained at the College. In 2008 Nicola became the first ever British female boxer to win a medal at the World Championships and the first ever finalist from Britain!
Healthy College Manager, Jane Marshall commenting on the announcement that women's boxing would be included in the Olympic Games said: “This is a fantastic opportunity for women - and I am delighted that the Olympics 2012 will see the advancement of women in sport.”
Paul added: “There are now nearly 700 registered and competing female boxers in England and many more women training in boxing gyms throughout Britain. He remarked: “Allowing women to box in the Olympics is the ‘final piece in the jigsaw’ and hopefully will boost female participation.” Women will be able to box alongside men for the first time since the activity was included as a demonstration sport in 1904.
Paul concluded: “Although it has been a male-dominated sport for many years – it’s great to see the growing participation by females into the sport!”