Schools Championships 2021: Return of Championships after Covid is a big hit

September 27, 2021 | by Matt Halfpenny


England Boxing’s first national championships since the onset of the Coronavirus Pandemic proved to be a huge hit – and brought a visit from AIBA President Umar Kremlev.

The eagerly-anticipated England Boxing National Schools Championships 2021 semi-final and Finals Day took place over the weekend (Saturday 25th September and Sunday 26th September) at the Vertu Motors Arena in Newcastle.

It attracted more than 200 of the country’s best girl and boy boxers in the Schools division – for those born in 2007 (Class B), 2008 (Class A) and 2009 (Cadet) – who were all eager to earn the right to call themselves a national champion.

The event was the first such occasion since the England Boxing National Youth Championships 2020 in February and March of last year because of Covid-19-related government lockdowns.

Titles were shared around across the weight divisions, with 65 clubs able to boast a national champion.

The most successful clubs were London duo Repton and Rainham, the latter newly-formed during lockdown, who each won five each, with Camberley’s Sporting Ring claiming three.

But there were successes for clubs across the country, including those from host region Tyne Tees and Wear such as Phil Thomas, Middlesbrough, Olympian, North Star, District Youth, Houghton, Bishop Auckland, Sunderland, Redcar and Birtley (see below for full list of winners).

“It was fantastic to see boxer’s back in action at a national event after such a long time out of the ring because of lockdown, and what better way to start off than with the stars of the future?” said England Boxing’s Development Coach Amanda Coulson.

“There are definitely a number of talented boxers to keep an eye on in the future – girls and boys – and there were some great contests in among the bouts, along with plenty of effort from all those who took part.

“Considering the lockdown and the part that has played in stopping boxing for a while, the determination and resilience shown by these boxers to come back as they have is second to none.

“We look forward to seeing what these boxers are going to go on and achieve in the future.”

Mr Kremlev became AIBA President in November of last year and came to see the Schools boxers in action as part of a trip to England.

He also met England Boxing staff and officials and handed out certificates to some of the finalists after their bouts.

Class B and Class A champions were rewarded with a pair of golden gloves, while Cadets won a gold medal.

Finalists in all classes picked up silver medals and losing semi-finalists bronze medals, while all boxers received an England Boxing certificate in recognition of their efforts.

Those who won titles in all Classes B and A are now being invited to train with the England Talent coaches at a Schools Champions Day on 23rd, 24th and 25th October.

Female boxers of the tournament, as selected by the team of watching England Talent coaches, were Ruby White (Sturminster Newton), Talia Rumbol (Newham) and Lexi Walker (Great Wyrley), while their male equivalents were Archie Coates (Rainham), Bailey Wilding (Mikey’s) and Mohammad Safari (The Ring).

The bout of the tournament was adjudged to have been the Male Under 52kg Class B bout between Chadwell St Mary’s Tony Saunders and Rainham’s William Howard, which the latter won on a split after a close and highly-entertaining contest.

Click here for a full list of winners.

Click here for video highlights.