Terrific trio set for Gold Coast
Three local boxers are going for gold in the Gold Coast after being confirmed as being part of Team Scotland at next year’s Commonwealth Games.
Cleland ABC’s Stephen Newns (pictured below) will join 2014 Games veterans Reece McFadden and Keir Hardie ABC’s Aqeel Ahmed in the squad.
Stephen’s coach at Cleland ABC Ronnie Blackburn said: “All the kids at our club want to follow in Stephen’s footsteps. He trains hard and is really dedicated to boxing.
“His hand speed and footwork are phenomenal and his ring trickery really causes fighters’ problems. He was young when he started but already has 40 or 50 fights under his belt.
“He’s still only 19 and we hope we can get him some extra funding to try and getting prepared as best we can for the Games.”
Aqeel continued his great run of form by winning the recent Tammer tournament in Finland, beating good friend Reece in the final.
And being one of only three veterans from Glasgow 2014, Aqeel feels extra responsibilty to bring home a medal from Australia.
He said: “I was over the moon to be selected.
“I n Glasgow I was one of the younger guys in the team but it’s just myself, Reece and Scott Forrest left from Glasgow. It’s a really young team. “We’ve got a target of five medals which is high so I’m hoping we all get a good draw. “I’m going there to win.” Despite his loss to Aqeel in Finland, Motherwell’s Reece will go into the Games looking to add to the bronze he picked up in Glasgow. Also included in the squad are former Springhill ABC fighter Scott Forrest and Hamilton’s Vicky Glover becoming the first Scottish woman to be selected for a Commonwealth Games in the sport. All nine squad members will be hoping to emulate the success of Newarthill’s Charlie Flynn who struck gold in Glasgow to delight of the home fans. Boxing Scotland interim CEO Fraser Walker said: “We have much to live up to following one of our most successful ever Commonwealth Games performances at Glasgow 2014.
“I am delighted and thankful that the Commonwealth Games Selection panel has shown faith in us and confirmed the selection of nine boxers at this stage.
“We have witnessed determination and courage from all the boxers in the world’s toughest tournaments throughout the selection period and our focus now turns to ensuring that our boxers deliver to very best of their ability when the Games begin.”
Going to the Commonwealth Games is becoming a family tradition for the Newns family.
As Stephen is getting set to go to the Gold Coast Games next year, his dad, Stephen Snr, has already experienced a Games down under having been part of the Scotland coaching team in Melbourne in 2006.
The Melbourne Games were a successful one for Scotland with 11 golds including Kenny Anderson battling to the top of the podium in the ring.
Nineteen-year-old Stephen hopes he can have just as successful a time.
He said: “I can remember just starting putting the gloves on and messing around in the gym and seeing the Games on TV. Now it’s my turn. My dad has been there from the start training me and he’s delighted. Both him and my mum have always supported me.”
Welterweight Stephen already has international experience having represented Scotland at a number of tournaments.
He believes that experience will come in handy at the Games especially in a division which is always highly competitive.
He added: “I’ve come across some of the welterweights already this year and I’m confident whoever I’m up against.”
Finland victory Aqeel Ahmed
2014 veteran Reece McFadden
Young team The Scots squad has an emphasis on youth