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Excellence path opens to kick-boxer Courtney Catterson
FORMER world kick-boxing champion Courtney Catterson has landed an immense bonus as she gets her kicks from purely boxing.
The 16-year-old will next week link up as part of the Amateur Boxing Association’s pathway to potential international triumph.
Catterson, who last year ruled the world of kick-boxing after title triumph in the WAKO world junior championships at 60 kilogrammes in Slovenia, travels to Bradford – one of just seven nationwide camps for the ABA’s Advanced Appenticeships in Sporting Excellence.
Getting on the programme is one of the most hard-fought tasks nationally, but such has been the impact of the York teenager since switching to boxing, she is now on the path to possible international development.
Selection for the GB Olymopic Games team in Rio in three years tops the youngster’s boxing aspirations as she revealed too how she now gets an even bigger blast of adrenaline from boxing than when she was on top of the world in kick-boxing.
Said Catterson, whose development has been overseen at York Boxing Club’s base at the Jack Raine Foundation building in Walmgate: “Getting on the programme will hopefully get me closer to the Great Britain squad.
“There are only a limited amount of places on the programme so I’m really thrilled to be going. I’ll be training four times a week at Bradford and then I’ll come back and do some more sessions at York.”
Since her combative switch, Catterson – the first female amateur boxer from York to compete on organised shows – has fought four times. She has won two and lost two, but she has literally been thrown into the deepest end.
York Boxing Club head coach Billy Wilson explained how Catterson’s success as a kick-boxer precluded her from the normal route of starting as a beginner. Instead she has had to open her new sporting career in the more demanding intermediates class.
As Catterson explained, her only defeats – both by slender margins – have been against a national champion and England’s second-highest rated boxer, though later she avenged that reverse.
“I do miss kick-boxing a little, but boxing is better,” she added.
“The atmosphere in the gym is far more competitive. Whereas before when I was world champion I did not feel I had much to test me, now it’s a challenge all the time.
“I also prefer training with the lads here at York because I don’t want special treatment just because I am a girl.”
Coach Wilson said the history-making teenager was now looking more like a boxer, adding: “She has come on leaps and bounds.
“Courtney is now thinking and acting like a boxer. She is going to do very well.”
Lewis Gell, who is head of the Jack Raine Foundation, hailed the youngster’s achievement but as much for the educational opportunities now within her grasp.
“She is the first one from York to get on the AASE programme and that’s all credit to her as well as a bonus for the club,” said Gell. “But for me it’s all about the education rather than just the sport.”
Devised as a programme to help boxers with “realistic potential to achieve excellence in boxing at the highest level”, the AASE enables elite athletes aged 16 to 19 to train full time while also gaining educational qualifications.
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