Lissenden awarded Official of the Tournament on first international appointment

November 26, 2022 | by Matt Halfpenny


England Boxing official Hilary Lissenden has celebrated her first international assignment as a referee and judge by being named as Official of the Tournament.

The London region official qualified as an IBA one-star referee and judge in June of this year at the Haringey Box Cup, after around 10 years of officiating for England Boxing.

Her first outing following that was to travel to the capital of North Macedonia, Skopje, for the Golden Gong Tournament from 16th to 19th November.

Lissenden travelled with the GB Boxing team of five boxers, three coaches and support staff, who also enjoyed a competition to remember, winning four golds and one bronze, and George Crotty being awarded Best Technical Boxer.

In all, 11 countries took part over the course of two days and she was pleased to have played a significant pat in its successful staging.

“I was really proud to be chosen as Official of the Tournament, particularly on my first time out wearing the IBA badge, and felt happy overall with my performance,” said Lissenden.

“I think that as R&Js we put pressure on ourselves, as much as anything – which is right and proper, because the stakes are high for every boxer in the competition. So I definitely felt some nerves, and experienced a few challenges in-country, such as the language barrier.

“However, I was well supported in my preparations and really appreciate the time taken by senior R&Js experienced on the international circuit, who explained what I should expect and encourage me to be confident in my abilities.

Lissenden –who has been shortlisted in the England Boxing Women in Boxing Awards 2022 for Official of the Year – believes that England’s amateur boxing reputation is on the rise not just in terms of those competing, but those overseeing the action as well.

She is hoping that more who are performing well on the domestic scene will follow in her footsteps and hopes her progress will inspire other women in particular.

“What struck me most is how well schooled we are in England as we work our way up the officiating pathway,” she added: “It’s not always comfortable to be evaluated and assessed, but that feedback is essential if we’re to continue improving.

“I was told in Skopje that England has a great reputation abroad, not just for our talented boxers but also for the consistently high standard of our R&Js. That was good to hear, and to feel part of.

“I would really encourage other officials to pursue their international ambitions, as it’s a great learning experience and gives you a different and richer perspective on our sport. And I’m delighted to see other women performing so strongly on the circuit … I’m sure they will be joining me abroad in the very near future.”