2020 Talent Pathway process and programmes

January 24, 2020 | by Matt Halfpenny


The selection process for England Boxing’s Talent Pathway for 2020 will be in February at the National Youth Championships – and it this year sees the launch of dedicated initiatives to help develop boxers further.

Resources have been directed towards providing high quality contact and positive experiences for Discovery boxers, Women’s Aspire and the Schools Academy.

These three outreach programmes will sit alongside the Talent Pathway, helping promising boxers to develop and providing an opportunity to potentially be assessed for a place on it.

Discovery programme

The Discovery programme will see boxers offered six contact days with England coaches throughout the rest of the year from May onwards.

England coaches will select boxers to be on this programme from performances at National Championships, Open Talent Days and scouting.

Women’s Aspire

The Women’s Aspire initiative will follow on from the pilot scheme in 2019, which saw over 100 female boxers receive coaching from England coaches, with each England Boxing region represented.

Every region will once again be invited to nominate boxers to attend these developmental days at the English Institute of Sport in Sheffield.

Schools Academy

The Schools Academy will see the winners and runner-ups from both Category A and Category B at the National Schools Championships in May earn a place on the Schools Academy.

From June, there will be four days offered with the England coaching team, all at the English Institute of Sport in Sheffield

In addition to the Schools Academy, the Cadet Academy will also be launched, with the Schools Cadet winners and runner-ups earning a place. Three days will be offered to that group.

Excel and Challenge phases

The systems for boxers to get on to the Excel and Challenge phases of the Talent Pathway will remain the same as in previous years.

Existing Talent Pathway boxers selected in 2019 will be removed ahead of their respective National Championships.

For example, all current youth boxers on programme will be officially removed from the programme on 13th February, ahead of the final stages of the England Boxing National Youth Championships starting on 14th February.

Youth boxers will then have the chance to get onto the Talent Pathway through the National Championships, Open Talent Days and coach scouting.

The only exception to this will be for boxers that were selected for a major international competition in the preceding calendar year.

So, for example, a boxer who was selected for the 2019 EUBC European Youth Championships would keep their place on the programme in 2020.

Talent Development Camps

The other change for 2020 will see the Talent Development Camps move to the first Saturday of each month.

The North and South TDCs will take place simultaneously on the first Saturday of the month from February to May and will be run for all Talent Pathway boxers, as is the current arrangement.

Then, from June onwards, the TDCs will finish and be replaced by England Squads, which will be only for boxers on the Excel and Challenge phases of the Talent Pathway. Full details on that process will be sent to the boxers later in the year.

You can click here to see dates for this year’s TDCs.

‘More suited to boxers’ needs’

England Boxing’s Head of Talent, David Thorley, said: “After reviewing feedback from boxers and coaches, we are implementing a system where boxers will receive an amount and type of activity more suited to their needs.

“These stand-alone initiatives will be key to providing structured coaching to the groups mentioned, whilst the boxers on the Talent Pathway itself will continue to receive high quality coaching on a regular basis.

“Once on the Talent Pathway, boxers will enjoy a number of benefits including being monitored by our England Boxing coaches. They will be guaranteed approximately 12 months on the programme, receive an induction and potential competition opportunities will be outlined to them.”

England Talent will be contacting all existing Talent Pathway boxers to outline the above in more detail and to highlight the opportunities open to them in 2020.

All of the above will be included in the updated selection policy documents that will be published on the England Boxing website in the coming weeks.