Bradford College's women's boxing programme has been granted the ‘Inspire mark’, the badge of the London 2012 Inspire programme which recognises innovative and exceptional projects directly inspired by the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. The College was presented with the prestigious award at the official launch that took place on Friday 26th November 2010 at the McMillan Boxing Gym, Bradford College.
The Women's Boxing programme will be instrumental in driving participation as well as promoting the Olympic and Paralympic values and is the first project of its kind to be recognised by Inspire in the UK.
Paul Porter, Bradford Boxing Development Officer, has been instrumental in helping 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 years ago to set up the Boxing Academy.
Paul reflected: “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. We have an extremely talented coaching set-up, led by Mally MacIver (Head Coach) and Kevin Smith (former Scotland National Team Coach and now running our AASE Programme).”
The Academy has also been recently selected as one of only six colleges in the country to become a designated High Performance Boxing Centre for aspiring boxers aged 16-19 years by the (ABAE) and (ECABA).
Elaborating further on why the women’s boxing programme has been recognised by the Inspire programme and supported by Yorkshire Gold, the regions London 2012 Committee, Paul said: We’ve been awarded the accolade specifically for the work we’ll be doing with female students and because the programme has been inspired by the decision to include women's boxing at the 2012 Olympics for the first time.”
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.
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 earlier this year.
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.”
Seb Coe, Chair, London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games said: “The Women’s boxing programme is encouraging young women to fulfil their potential. I am proud that with the help of partners such as Bradford College we are delivering on our vision to use the power of the Olympic and Paralympic Games to boost participation in sport.”