Female coach spotlight: Igne Vaitkunaite (High Wycombe ABC)

August 2, 2021 | by Matt Halfpenny


In the fourth of the series looking at the coaches who are taking part in the inaugural England Boxing Female Coach Development Programme (FCDP), High Wycombe ABC’s’s Igne Vaitkunaite explains how she hopes to use her involvement to help and inspire others.

How did you first get involved in boxing?

I got into boxing because I wanted to build my confidence and try something new. I was never really good at anything else, but the first time I put on a pair of gloves, I just couldn’t stop! This was my true love at first sight.

How pleased are you to be involved in a programme that is actively bidding to push women’s and girls boxing forwards?

I was so thrilled that when I got the news that I had been accepted that I cried with happiness and started to jump around. I feel like us female coaches need this and I am sure we as female coaches will take over soon.

What do you hope to get out of FCDP that can improve you as a coach?

This is going to help me with my confidence and help me grow as a female coach more. I will be able to explore areas of coaching that I wouldn’t have been able to do without this programme’s help. This is going to help me not only to motivate myself and push myself forward, but also help inspire others. It will improve how I deal with different boxers and deal with southpaws and also help me to have my own voice in front of the boxers and in the club, standing up and being one of the best female coaches.

How much will attending the FCDP help you when you return to your club environments?

This programme will help me a lot, as I feel like I got to be like that so that it will help me get my point across. I am also looking forward to learning how to support boxers mentally and how to do it right, as well as learning different techniques of how to do pads for tall people as I am only 5”2… most of our juniors are 6 ft tall. I can’t wait to learn southpaw pads as I still struggling with it. The best thing I have learned so far is that when doing pads with orthodox boxers you need to switch your stance from orthodox to southpaw depending on who they are preparing to box, and the same goes with southpaws.

Who are your biggest boxing inspirations?

I have always loved Katie Taylor and Muhammad Ali. I loved Ali for his bravery and being loud – because that’s how he got noticed and he never gave up all those years of boxing. Katie is just an inspiration for female boxers because she has achieved so much and she is so humble, which is beautiful to see. Another big inspiration is two of the other coaches at my club, Stuart Scott and John McInnes. They sent me messages saying how proud they were that I had got onto this programme, which has given me the push I needed. They are just amazing and any idea that comes into my head, they support me with100%, I told them I wanted to become a judge, and they have really pushed me and made my dream of becoming a coach and judge a reality.