WHO AM I?
I am one of the youngest in the GB Boxing Podium squad and train in Sheffield full-time at the EIS. I have been competing since I was 11 and have been involved in the sport for as long as I can remember.
Bradford College have been very supportive and deferment arrangements allow me to continue with my sports coaching degree when my schedule allows. I am fully committed to gaining a degree alongside my sporting achievements so I can fulfil my long term aim of working with children in sport and inspiring others, no matter what their background.
I am fully committed to representing Britain at the 2016 Olympics in Rio.
I will focus on proving that I am the best in the country year after year and treat every contest as if it is my Olympic final, be it the regionals of the National ABAs or an international contest. Every win gets me a step closer to achieving my ultimate dream of a podium spot at the Olympics. Attending the London Games as a training partner for the team in 2012 was amazing and heightened my determination to make it.
HOW HAS BEING A SCHOLAR HELPED?
Being on the scheme, I have not only improved as an athlete, but as an all-round individual. Sky has helped me to promote myself, not just to the boxing audience, but to Sky viewers in general. I believe I have been able to attract more people and viewers to boxing and have raised awareness of amateur boxing by writing blogs and featuring in videos created by Sky Sports News and Ringside Boxing team.
It's been fantastic to see a different side to the boxing shows other than just what;s happening in the ring. I have built up an excellent relationship with my mentor Johnny Nelson. He is always on hand to offer advice. I feel completely comfortable about contacting him for a catch-up or chat. There are many ups and downs in boxing and Johnny has the experience and knowledge and has helped me, particularly during the tough times.
I feel extremely fortunate to receive media coaching. It has taught me so much and I am certain it will benefit my career and has already made me feel more comfortable about presenting myself to an audience.
The financial aid has of course been enormously beneficial. I've been able to commit to my chosen sport full time and got access to the best possible facilities and equipment available for training and competition. It has enabled me to use the services of some top coaches and other sporting professionals. I was able to go to Spain for a week-long training camp in 2015 to the MGM Boxing Gym where I got valuable experience training in the heat alongside pros and observed experienced fighters in full training during the lead-up to big fights.
WHO ELSE HAS HELPED?
I have attended regular sessions with a psychologist who has helped my confidence and mindset in the build-up to a fight, as well as during training sessions and camps. I also take part in Hot Yoga sessions on my rest days and I'm able to have sports massages.
It has been helpful to hear from and share experiences with my fellow Scholars, many of whom I class as friends. It has been great to have a group of friends on the same team as you, who work just as hard and sacrifice so much to be where they are. You never feel alone and we all support each other.
Without the Sky Scholarship scheme I would not have met Sir Chris Hoy and hear about his journey to the top of his sport (highs and the lows) to Olympic gold. It was very inspiring and spurred me on to work even harder in the gym. He helped me understand what it takes to become a champion and appreciate that with hard work and dedication, dreams are achievable.