Golden Girls ready for Women’s Winter Box Cup 2019
December 4, 2019 | by Matt Halfpenny
The North-East’s regionals women’s squad, the Tyne Tees and Wear (TTW) Golden Girls, are back at the England Boxing Women’s Winter Box Cup in 2019 – and have vowed to be better, and louder, than ever!
Last year’s inaugural event at the George H Carnall Leisure Centre in Urmston saw a healthy TTW contingent make their way to Greater Manchester to compete as one, sharing each success and disappointment as a team.
It will be the same approach this time around at the Guildford Spectrum on Saturday (7th December, 12noon start) and Sunday (8th December, 11am start), with the squad’s head coach, Laura Sargeant looking forward to seeing how her charges acquit themselves.
When the squad started five years ago, she says a turn-out into double figures would be a good result. Now there are regularly 50 at sessions.
“This is an event we have very much been looking forward to after really enjoying the first one last year – it’s great to see women and girls’ boxing on the up and up,” said Sargeant.
“It’s massively important for the sport’s development to have this kind of event where women and girls take centre stage, and being on the BBC will increase its exposure too.
“It’s an opportunity to reward some of those from the North-East who have attended squads and worked hard the opportunity to compete outside their immediate area. It also gives some a first taste of competing in two bouts over a weekend and all that entails, rather than just a one-off bout.
“The great thing is that there are other girls from the North-East who are travelling to compete for their clubs, so overall the region will have a very strong representation and I think it is one of the strongest areas of the country at the moment for women’s boxing.”
The TTW Golden Girls squad this year is 10-strong and is made up of Kerry Hayley, Amy Aspinall, Carmel Carey, Natalie Jubb, Macy Gallone, Ashleigh Lane, Shannon Bowe, Tori Creighton, Hannah Shield and Zoe McDonald.
Sargeant is hoping for some success from that number, but insists the squad will be out to enjoy themselves, whatever the results.
She added: We are optimistic we can do well. Macy Gallone has just won the NABGCs and Ashleigh Lane and Zoe McDonald won at the Developments in October.
“Come what may, we definitely look out for each other – and you probably heard the noise and the cheering when one of ours was in the ring last year!
“Whether it’s the younger ones or the Elite ones, we make sure that everyone gets the same support when it’s one of our own in the ring.
“We try to make the squad like a family, even though everyone has come together from all different clubs and different parts of the region.”
Aside from the Golden Girls, a number of other England Boxing regions are now beginning to form regional squads to ensure regular, good quality sparring.
The North West Region Warriors come together regularly, as do the Fight Like A Girl squad, based in the Midlands.
Sargeant says it is another step in the right direction for female participation in the sport that has already seen a rise in England Boxing registered members from 1,287 in 2014-2015 to 1,925 at the end of the 2018-19 season.
“I think every region should have a regional squad and it’s fantastic to see more and more popping up, which can only improve the strength and depth of it on the women and girls’ side,” she said.
“It’s definitely a long-term goal to make that happen and having an event like this where everyone can come together and compete certainly helps.
“The fact there are international boxers to it also adds to it. Some of these girls will go on to box for their country, so coming up against different styles is ideal preparation for that.
“It’s also a big opportunity to box someone from, say, Ireland or Denmark, and there is a certain kudos that comes with it and makes those girls feel great.”
Although the England Boxing Women’s Winter Box Cup is largely about opening up new opportunities, it still draws some high-class performers.
The likes of former European champion Chelsey Heijnen of the Netherlands, former European Junior champion Elise Glynn and this year’s European Junior Silver medallist Shelby-Marie Lee are just some of the names on show.
Sargeant is delighted such talent will be present, demonstrating first-hand to some of the younger generation the skill and dedication needed to reach a high level.
She said: “When you have people of the calibre of Amy Andrews and Gemma Richardson competing, as was the case last year, it gives the girls coming through something to look up to and aspire to.
“There are some very talented boxers going to be at the event this year too and it is a chance for people to watch how they go about their business.
“There’s no doubt there are going to be some champions and names for the future who box this weekend. It will be interesting in a few years’ time to see who they turn out to be.”
Tickets are available to spectate at the England Boxing Women’s Winter Box Cup 2019 and can be purchased at the Ticket Desk in Guildford Spectrum on the day of competition. Prices are £20 per adult, £10 per concession (over 65), £5 per child (five to 15-year-olds) and free for those four and under. Please note it is cash only and no £50 notes will be accepted.
If you can’t make it to venue, you can watch selected bouts on the BBC iPlayer (www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer) and via the BBC Sport website and app.
Live streaming of bouts in all three rings will be available by the England Boxing YouTube Channel.
You can also follow the action across our social media via the hashtag #EBWWBC19