Female coach spotlight: Sally Webb (Priory Park)
October 2, 2021 | by Matt Halfpenny
Priory Park coach Sally Webb explains how she has improved as a coach and who gives her the inspiration to continue her journey of development.
How did you get into boxing?
I first got involved with boxing through my children being boxers, as they have been for the last eight years. I was always watching and hovering about at the gym thinking ‘I’d love to help and have a go at coaching’. So I did!
I then became a Pastoral Manager at a local Pupil Referral Unit and thought boxing would really enrich and help my pupils with their behaviour, so that is how it started getting serious, and the love began!
I take three afternoon classes in the weekday, and I coach the beginners and help at the amateurs every day, and would do more if I could fit it in. I absolutely love it and from the beginning tried to get as many hands-on experiences as I could by watching, observing, going to shows early on and going to the local girls FLAG Squad in Aston, as well as the ASPIRE sessions at Sheffield.
I never would have done it without the support I have from the coaches at Priory, they have having unbelievably supportive, and nothing is to much regarding helping you.
I also like to plan to learn out of the gym, and in lockdown we successfully arranged online sessions with the aim of improving our boxers’ IQ, such as watching bouts and analysing them, talking about judging and having lots of special guest speakers from across the county.
I decided to train to become a judge in 2019 and I absolute love it. It really gave me a different perspective and changed they way I coach. I’d recommend all coaches to look into it.
A special mention to Paul, Woz, Rich, Pete, Martin, Abs, Tom and Dale who help me every day.
How pleased are you to be involved in the programme that is actively bidding to push women’s and girls’ boxing forward?
I am so proud! I tell everyone. I am so lucky to have so many girl/women boxers at our club to help and encourage. I am in awe of them and think they are amazing. I hope I am a good role model to them too, and other aspiring women coaches. I’ve recently completed a course working with a another lady coach, Gwen, encouraging vulnerable girls/women into boxing in conjunction with the police. But honestly, how good is it that there is a programme just for us!
What do you hope to get out of the FCDP that can improve you as a coach?
I hope to continue to learn something new every day and pass this knowledge on to others. I hope to do the Level 2 next and progress. I’m looking to gain confidence and draw knowledge from others on the course too.
We do have some exciting news as our gym is planning on opening a community-based school to include boxing at its heart for local children with challenging behaviour.
How much will attending the FCDP help you when you return to your club environment?
I am very lucky as, all through lockdown, I have still been able to run the school classes with Paul, as these classes are part of their education. Obviously, we followed all guidelines, but this has been a lifeline for school pupils and given them something to look forward too. Having attended lots of the England Zoom session has prepared me well too. It was fab listening to everyone’s opinions and experiences.
Who are your biggest boxing inspirations?
Got to say Amanda, Laura, Lorna and other lady coaches who I have looked up to and thought” wow” when I’ve been on ASPIRE days.
I have got say to say Paul Gough, my friend, our club Chairman and all-round best person ever. Without his support/patience and constantly telling me I’m good enough after endless chats and message and Paul telling me I can do it and I wouldn’t have got through the past four years.
As it’s a male dominated sport at the moment, I have had several doubts and concerns, but I’ve learned to get over it and move on.
Another person is Woz our Head Coach. The detail he goes into for planning the sessions is inspiring. He comes up with new ideas every day and keeps things interesting, current and well-structured. It is a blessing to be with them both and have such amazing coaches to learn from. I really am very lucky.