England Boxing Women’s Winter Box Cup: New competition ‘fantastic’, says England Development Coach Coulson
December 6, 2018 | by Matt Halfpenny
There’s been some fantastic successes at the very highest level for the country’s women boxers over the past few years – and Development Coach Amanda Coulson hopes the England Boxing Women’s Winter Box Cup will ensure they are by no means the last.
The exploits of Nicola Adams, Savannah Marshall and Caroline Dubois, among others, in winning titles on the world stage have made national headlines and thrust the sport in front of potential female participants like never before.
Encouragingly, that has translated into an increase in numbers of those who are visiting their local boxing club, whether to take part in sessions purely for fitness, or to get in the ring and compete, with 1,560 registering as members of England Boxing by the end of last year, up from 1,287 in 2015.
But Coulson – herself a four-time former national elite champion and three-time European Union Championships silver medallist – believes that the debut of this competition (held this Saturday and Sunday, 8th and 9th December, at the George H Carnall Centre in Urmston, Manchester) comes at the right time to help women and girls’ boxing stay in the forefront of people’s minds when it comes to sport.
“I think the England Boxing’s Women’s Winter Box Cup is incredibly important for the development of the sport,” she said. “You have the National Championships, but to have a specific Box Cup tailored for women, an extra competition for females, is invaluable, especially as it can be limited for women at the moment.
“For England Boxing to have bought into that and taken the lead to give experience to women of competition over two days is fantastic, and it can only help the sport develop in my view. The potential for growth is considerable and there has been a recognition of the need to engage at a grass roots level.
“To showcase women’s boxing right through, from beginner level through to the very top, is a great concept, and I think it’s been a long time coming.”
The first Women’s Elite ABA Championships was held in 2004 and in the intervening 14 years the weights and age categories being competed for have rapidly expanded.
Coulson, who boxed for the Hartlepool Catholic club in the 60kg and 63kg weight brackets, has been hugely encouraged by the increasing appetite for women and girls’ boxing, reflected in the numbers heading for the North-West this weekend from across England and beyond.
She added: “The fact that more than 180 boxers have signed up shows there is an appetite for it. And it’s not just English boxers, but those from further afield who are wanting to get involved.
“It’s like a domino effect… when people see the successes that come from this, then hopefully it is going to encourage even more to compete, including more international boxers.
“We already have a fantastic standard of boxers in England, but normally they have to go to Ireland or abroad to get a lot of their bouts. This offers a lot of English boxers that extra stage on which to develop.
“It is going to develop the whole system, developing female boxing full stop, and I’m sure it will be really exciting to come and watch.”
Among the easily-recognisable names set to compete in the two-ring set-up – which features junior, youth and elite sections – are World and European Youth Champion Gemma Richardson, Double European silver medallist Simran Kaur and European bronze medallist Shona Whitwell.
Coulson believes that younger boxers will take inspiration from their more experienced counterparts in the way they prepare and conduct themselves at a major event.
“People like Shona, who has been an elite National Champion, is someone that some of the other boxers can look up to,” she said. “To see her at close quarters is going to be massively inspirational.
“Some of the younger boxers are getting to see the very best because all levels of ability, from the bottom up and top down, are involved.
“For the younger generation to be able to take part in an international show with boxers from other nations is going to be a fantastic experience for them – and something never before heard of.
“Your future Nicola Adams or Caroline Dubois could come through an event like this – hopefully this tournament will help develop the next generation of talented boxers.”
You can click to see a full list of boxers and their weights here and check out the full list of rules and regulations for the competition.
You can go along to support the boxers on both days of competition, with doors for spectators open from 10am.
Admission is £15 for adults and £5 for concessions (under-5s are free).