YOUNG sports fans enjoyed a knockout day when a champion boxer visited their school.
Amanda Coulson spent the day with students from Farringdon Community Sports College in Sunderland to share her story of overcoming prejudice to achieve success as a female boxer.
The event was part of the Living for Sport scheme for which Amanda is a sports mentor.
Pupils at the Allendale Road school, who were selected by teachers to take part in the visit, also had the opportunity to talk to Amanda about the sporting activities they have been involved in, their achievements and the skills they have learned.
Amanda, the 2011 Great British Women’s Boxing Champion and a staunch believer in fighting prejudice in all areas of life, said: “I’m honoured to be part of Sky Sports Living for Sport and to have the chance to share my success in tackling prejudice within the boxing community with young people.
“I hope my story will inspire all the students I meet not to let life’s challenges hold them back.”
Sky Sports Living for Sport is a free UK secondary schools initiative, delivered in partnership with the Youth Sport Trust, which uses sport stars and sport skills to boost confidence, change behaviours, increase attainment and improve life skills.
Having formally announced her retirement from boxing this October, Amanda is now more focused than ever on her role as an athlete mentor, using her experiences as a woman in a male dominated sport to help students across the North East tackle prejudice.
During her visit to Farringdon, Amanda told the students her personal story of triumph over adversity, which saw her combat prejudice within the boxing community to achieve international sporting success.
As a 14-year-old, keen to try out boxing for the first time, Amanda was shocked to find herself in a sporting community that was anything but welcoming to female members.
Many local boxing clubs refused to allow her to train, citing a lack of female changing rooms or female coaches as reasons to deny her membership.
Undeterred, Amanda refused to let prejudice hold her back and continued her search for a club.
Eventually, she was invited to join Hartlepool Catholic Boys Boxing Club, which soon dropped ‘Boys’ from its name and proudly supported her swift rise through the boxing ranks.