Female coach spotlight: Kate Newton (Rathbone ABC)
June 12, 2021 | by Matt Halfpenny
In the first in a series looking at the coaches who are taking part in the inaugural England Boxing Female Coach Development Programme, Rathbone’s Kate Newton describes her unusual route into boxing – and how she hopes to grow as a coach having secured one of the 10 prestigious course places.
How did you get into boxing?
I came into boxing through an odd route. I work in theatre, TV and film as a fight director, which basically means I choreograph fight sequences for these mediums. In 2013, I was working on a theatre show which included a lot of boxing – and not knowing enough about the sport to best portray it on stage, I took myself off to a boxing gym to do some research. This was only seven years ago.
From there, I got hooked and decided to take it up for recreation and I eventually decided I would like to go down the coaching route. Knowing nothing about amateur boxing, I completed my Level 1 coaching course and I have not looked back.
My skills as a fight director have definitely been transferrable into the coaching world and it is wonderful to find a place in a sport which I have discovered a bit later in life.
How pleased are you to be involved in a programme that Is actively bidding to push women’s and girls’ boxing forward?
I feel like I am part of a movement which can implement change. It is a privilege to be part of this first cohort of the Female Coach Development Programme (FCDP), and, as a member of the first cohort, I feel a responsibility to help the advancement of female coaches/boxers so that our presence becomes the norm.
What do you hope to get out of the FCDP that can improve you as a coach?
The connection with other female coaches coming from different backgrounds and experiences will be invaluable. The opportunity to share and grow. The opportunity to experience different challenges that take you beyond your comfort zone. Having a mentor that can guide and support you. Taking the opportunity to be curious, learn, be creative and explore new avenues in your coaching practice.
I look to the future and hope this group grows into something that is diverse and inclusive.
How much will attending the FCDP help you when you return to your club environments?
I believe the more we share, the more open and receptive we are, the more we can grow and, ultimately, me immersing myself into this programme will benefit my club and our boxers.
I am lucky to be in a space that has a strong female presence and I am sure that this will grow.
Who are your biggest boxing inspirations?
As someone who knew nothing about boxing six years ago, but did watch Katie Taylor at the 2012 Olympics, I have to say she is one of my inspirations. Her work ethic, skill and humility is to be admired. I have watched the documentary KATIE more times than I can remember.
Last year, during the first lockdown, I read Jane Couch’s autobiography and I really admire her resilience in the face of such adversity.
I am also inspired by Amanda Coulson. I listened to her on a Box Gathering group and was inspired by her journey and how she now uses her platform to support other aspiring female coaches into the world. Again, she was a woman who was not going to give up and who kept flicking through that yellow pages until she found a club who would accept her.
Rachel Bower, my head coach at Rathbone also continues to be an inspiration to me. There does not seem to have been any idea which I have suggested which is too crazy, and the opportunities which have come my way since joining her team have really helped me develop and grow, even in this most turbulent of years.