The Army boxing team forges link with GB to increase Olympic opportunity
Cuba rule the World Series of Boxing
THE Army boxing team has forged a link with the GB Boxing programme. The aim is to raise the Army’s coaching capabilities and increase the opportunities for Army boxers, both male and female, to reach Olympic standards.
Under the arrangement, GB Boxing has recruited Ben Stewart to work as a full-time coach based at the home of the Army Boxing Team in Aldershot alongside current head coach, Sergeant James Allen, an ABA champion before he became a coach. Stewart’s position is part of an initial three-year agreement in partnership with GB Boxing. Stewart has been an England coach and part-time GB performance coach.
The Army have a full time boxing squad, with a routine that the reflects GB’S. Their boxers train three times a day and focus fully on their boxing while they are on the team.
“The set-up and the facilities here are first-class,” Stewart said. “My role has been to work with James and the rest of the performance team to develop a programme which enables us to optimise the boxers’ preparation and creates a training environment that enables them to develop, improve and be successful in the most important tournaments.”
It is beneficial to the Army as well. Nathan Pearce, the Army Boxing Secretary added, “Fitness is an integral part of being a soldier and the qualities required of a sportsperson mirror what the army looks for when recruiting; teamwork, discipline, motivation and determination. Through the Army Sports Control Board, army personnel are extremely well supported with first rate facilities, coaches but most importantly the time to refine their skills. This is coupled with the opportunity to have a professional career in one of over 100 roles the Army has to offer.”
The Army already has two current GB boxers in Ebonie Jones and Karriss Artingstall. They have ambitions to make it to the Olympic Games and are already enjoying international success. Jones is the reigning under 22 European champion and made it on to the GB Podium squad this year. Artingstall boxed in the 2018 European championships and was one of seven Army boxers to make it to the final of the 2018 England Boxing Elite National Championships where she won the featherweight title. Featherweight is now an Olympic weight in female boxing.
Stewart said, “There is a lot of potential in the Army and the boxers did very well at this year’s England Boxing Elite finals. It is great that we have some boxers already in the GB Boxing squad as it shows there is a pathway from the Army to the Olympic programme and that boxers that do well here have the opportunity to achieve great things in the sport.”
OLYMPIC AMBITION: Ebonie Jones [right] is one of the Army boxers now on GB