Repton’s ABA winners meet Olympic boxing stars

PUBLISHED: 11:10 09 May 2013

Jack Bateson, Anthony Joshua, Natasha Jonas with Levi Lee

Jack Bateson, Anthony Joshua, Natasha Jonas with Levi Lee

Photography © Amie Parsons

Seven youngsters from Repton Boxing Club met Olympic super-heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua and members of the GB Boxing squad this week

Seven youngsters from Repton Boxing Club met Olympic super-heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua and members of the GB Boxing squad this week at a special ceremony to mark their achievement in winning the Amateur Boxing Association of England’s (ABAE’s) Schools Boxing Championships.

Levi Lee, Jamal Khan, Aaadam Hussain, John Lee, Rakim Tatou, Jessedean Harris and Levi Coats joined more than 50 of England’s most talented 13-16-year-old boxers for an exclusive, behind-the-scenes look at GB Boxing’s state-of-the-art training facility at the English Institute of Sport in Sheffield.

They took part and had a question and answer session with Anthony Joshua, world championship bronze medallist and London Olympian, Natasha Jonas and Jack Bateson, who was recently promoted to GB Boxing’s Podium squad and is a three-time ABAE Schools Champion.

The winners and their families watched the GB squad in training, met coaches and sport science staff from the Olympic programme and were each presented with a souvenir pair of ‘Golden Gloves’ to mark their achievement in winning the ABAE’s Schools Championships.

Rakim said: “It was an amazing experience to see the Olympic boxing gym, meet the Great Britain boxers and learn about their training programme. The facilities are fantastic and the whole experience has really inspired me to train even harder and do everything I can to improve and see if I can make it into the squad one day.”

Olympic super-heavyweight champion, Anthony Joshua said: “It is great to have the opportunity to meet with the next generation of young boxers and be able to provide them with help and advice. I hope that one day, some of the young boys and girls that I met will go on to be part of the GB Boxing squad and win a medal at the Olympic Games.”

Richard Caborn, Chairman of the ABAE said: “English boxers have been very successful in recent years, winning medals at World Championships and Olympic Games, and this is all part of the ABAE’s on-going activities to ensure we maintain that talent pipeline and have the pathways in-place to enable our best young boxers to progress through the England system and onto the GB Boxing programme.

“An event like this is hugely inspirational as it gives the schoolchildren a chance to meet with boxers that have achieved success and provides them with an insight into what it takes to reach the top, win medals internationally and be part of an Olympic programme.”

Rob McCracken MBE, Performance Director of the GB Boxing programme and the man who led Great Britain to the top of the boxing medal table at the 2012 Olympics said: “We have been successful in recent years but to continue this we need to have a steady flow of talent coming into the GB Boxing programme so events like this, which support the home nation’s talent development activities, are important to our future success.

“We would not be able to achieve the success we have had in recent years without the great work of the home nation ABAs in developing and nurturing talent so it’s good that we can assist them in their talent development activity by giving young boxers an insight into what it takes to be an Olympian.”

Jack Bateson from the GB Boxing squad, who won the ABAE Schools’ Championships three times from 2007-09 and is the current senior champion at light-flyweight, said: “I remember being very proud when I won my ‘Golden Gloves’ for being the schools’ champion so it is great to be part of something that aims to inspire the next generation of young boxers. I hope that all of the boys and girls that come to the GB Boxing gym enjoy the experience and are inspired to go on and achieve more in their boxing careers.”

Lonsdale supports schools and junior boxing and donated the souvenir ‘Golden Gloves’ that were awarded to each of the winners.

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