Champion boxer Harris Akbar returned to his former college to show off his latest medal and encourage students to work hard and follow their dreams.
Fresh from winning silver at the Under 22 European Boxing Championships in Russia, the 20-year-old popped in to show off the medal to students at Bradford College, where he studied sport before GB Boxing came calling and made him a full-time athlete.
Akbar, who still represents Bradford College Boxing Club, chatted with students about his journey from student to full-time sportsman and the importance of determination and dedication in achieving a goal.
“It is always lovely to come back into college and catch up with teachers and students and update them on my progress,” said Harris, who is now based at the English Institute of Sport in Sheffield as one of the rising stars of GB Boxing’s Podium Potential programme.
“It is nice when people come up and shake my hand and wish me well. It is great to think I have their support. I am very proud to have been a student at Bradford College and proud to continue to represent the Bradford College Boxing Club. The boxing facilities at college are excellent and I owe the college, and especially Mally, a lot in helping me get to where I am today.”
Boxer Harris Akbar shows off his European u22 silver medal to students
Mally McIver, Bradford College’s boxing coach, said: “Harris is an excellent example to all students, not just those with sporting goals, that nothing comes without hard work but if you put in the time and effort you will see results.
“He is a great ambassador for Bradford College and everyone here wishes him all the success in the world.”
Akbar is currently recovering from surgery on his hand to repair an injury sustained in the final in Russia and in a couple of months will begin his bid to box his way onto GB’s Tokyo 2020 Olympic team.
While Harris was in Russia, McIver was on international duty himself, working as part of the GB coaching team at the Gee Bee Tournament in Helsinki, Finland at which the GB Boxing squad won six gold medals and was named the Best Team at the tournament.
Harris Akbar and Mally McIver