Sport

Olivia Holmes has gone from inspired to inspiring in the ring

Boxing protege Olivia Holmes does her talking in the ring but still knows how to choose her words wisely.

The Liverpool ace, who trains at the esteemed Rotunda ABC Boxing Club, specifically asked whether she could go to the U22 European Championships in Croatia this year.

And after landing a place on the plane, all fell into place with a bronze medal in the 54kg category against the best youngsters in Europe.

The 19-year-old, who has been selected to be part of the Team England Futures programme with Commonwealth Games England and SportsAid, said: “I hadn’t had a lot of international experience so I just asked them about the U22s.

“I wasn’t sure if they were taking anyone that was new to the programme so I just asked the question and they decided to take three of us that were part of England Boxing.

“So they took me at 54kg which I was just amazed by and was so excited to just fight on the international scene and have my opportunity.

“It was all good experience but I came home with a bronze medal so it was a good achievement for my first international tournament and I just want to go to more now.

“If I didn’t open my mouth I wouldn’t have gone.”

The London 2012 Olympic Games motto was to ‘inspire a generation’ and as Nicola Adams stepped into the ring to fight for gold, a fire was ignited within nine-year-old Holmes.

And now a national and international medallist, the boxer has been in love with the sport ever since.

“Boxing had run through my family through my brother and my dad as well and they used to box when they were younger, but my dad had never mentioned boxing to me and I never really knew much about it or other,” she said.

“But I was just watching Nicola Adams and I said to my dad, can you take me to a boxing gym.

“So he took me to a local boxing gym when I was about 10 and I just loved it from there.”

Earlier in the year, Holmes won gold in the 54kg category at the senior ABA’s, the first senior competition that she was able qualify for, with the assistance of SportsAid funding.

The Team England Futures programme will see over 1,000 talented young athletes and aspiring support staff given the opportunity to attend the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games, watch live sporting action and take a first-hand look behind-the-scenes.

The programme seeks to better prepare athletes to deliver medal-winning performances as either Team England, Team GB or ParalympicsGB debutants at future Games, while also giving support staff a first-hand look at the opportunities they could be presented with, as well as challenges they may face, at a multi-sport competition.

Holmes added: “Early in the year I won my first senior amateurs. Obviously I wanted to try my best but there was no pressure on me because it was my first ever one and I was coming up against full grown women.

“I didn’t know how I was going to get on but I knew I was capable of doing it.

“My proudest achievement is probably my first win there because it’s the biggest thing I could have won for my own gym.

“Just to make them proud was amazing and to share that memory with my coach as well, he was in my corner all the way through it.

“I would just say that if you want to box just go and do it and try it out because you might just love it like I did and achieve what I’ve achieved now.”

Commonwealth Games England has appointed SportsAid to lead on the development, management and operational delivery of Team England Futures at the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games. You can find out more about the programme by visiting https://www.sportsaid.org.uk/partnerships/team-england-futures/.

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