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The Army box­ing team forges link with GB to in­crease Olympic op­por­tu­nity

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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.”

Photo: GB BOX­ING

OLYMPIC AM­BI­TION: Ebonie Jones [right] is one of the Army box­ers now on GB

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