Jason Quigley has spoken of how his time as a Sky Academy Sports Scholar has helped him and will continue to be of benefit despite leaving the programme to turn professional.
The Irish middleweight boxer signed up with Oscar de la Hoya’s Golden Boy Promotions in April on the back of his AIBA World Championships silver medal in Kazakhstan last year and will make his professional bow at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas in July.
Just for the likes of Sky to put their trust, financially and everything, in me, it was a massive boost of confidence for me
However, despite the switch, Quigley is adamant that his time with the Scholarships programme has helped him to develop a number of skills that will benefit him as a professional and even once he hangs up his gloves.
“The Scholarship has been massive for me,” he told Sky Sports. “Just for the likes of Sky to put their trust, financially and everything, in me, it was a massive boost of confidence for me. And then to see the other athletes on the programme was another boost of confidence.
“The way they set us up with media training, getting in front of the camera, getting us on TV, photo shoots, media training for interviews, stuff like this, just how to react outside of the ring, that’s going to help us not only in our sporting career but in our life. It’s massive, massive help for us.”
Dealing with the media is something Quigley is now having to get used to, with the interest in him that has intensified ever since his historic World Championship medal moving up another notch as a result of joining one of world boxing’s most famous promoters.
Quigley has been unfazed and the 22-year-old from Donegal credits the Scholarships with giving him the confidence to feel at ease with all the attention.
“It’s been brilliant the help that they’ve given me moving forward into my professional career. They’ve helped me in the amateurs and, even though it wasn’t maybe planned to help me as a professional, it’s helping me now,” he added.
“Tony (Lester, Head of Sky Academy Sports Scholarships) said to me, ‘you’re always going to be part of the Sky family and they’ll always be there to help throughout your career.’
“They look after you after your sporting career as well, it’s not only to help you achieve in your sport it’s helping you in the later stage of your life and you might not be earning any money from sport.
“They’ve just been a massive, massive help. It’s not been all serious either. We had our day at the Mercedes track as well which was brilliant, I’m a bit annoyed that I didn’t have my full license at the time – I got it a few weeks later but that’s the way it goes!”