Olivia boxing clever thanks to Unity sessions

March 22, 2023 | by Matt Halfpenny


A Sheffield teenager has turned her life around with the support of affiliated Yorkshire club Unity Boxing Centre.

Olivia Dunleavey was excluded from school for punching another pupil and relationships with those around her were frayed.

But it was then suggested on her return to Firth Park Academy that she attended an on-site boxing programme run by Atif Shafiq.

Since then she has regularly trained at Rotherham-based Unity and subsequently excelled academically, as well as finding a new respect for those around her.

“I was at my worst when I was 13,” she told the Rotherham Advertiser. “I wasn’t a respectful person.

“It was stupid, petty stuff – I had let myself down. When I got back from exclusion, my friends told be about Atif’s boxing group.

“At first I thought it would be just another lesson, but I did one and it started to change my life – it made me feel a lot happier.

“I found it was keeping me in shape and giving me a focus, and I could bring that into my school life.”

Coach Atif added: “You can see how her focus, discipline and drive have turned around her life completely.

“Now I could ask no more than she is giving if she were a professional fighter.”

Find out more about Unity Boxing Centre via their Facebook page by clicking here.