Female boxing made its first appearance at the 2012 Olympic Games and saw some of the best sporting talent the world has to offer. The Olympic boxing barrier was broken by Great Britain’s very own Nicola Adams as she became the first ever Women’s boxing champion. Prior to its emergence in the Olympic scene, women’s boxing has been prevalent in the European Union Championships.
Lesley Sackey is an outstanding British female boxer with a Ghanaian heritage who has helped pave the way for British women’s boxing. As the Amateur Boxing Association (ABA) National Champion in the welterweight division, she went on to win gold at the European Championships in 2008, making history as the first British woman to win gold. An epitome of the 21st century woman, Lesley juggles a number of businesses and activities along with her sport, from speaking in schools and colleges, hosting presentations in the corporate world, TV and radio work along with public appearances, mentoring and personal training.
Lesley has also carved a niche for herself in the business world, owning a fitness centre known as ‘The Boxing Boutique’. It is a premium fitness training service for women of all ages and abilities, designed to train and empower women using the discipline of boxing. The slogan “For the woman who requires more” is the foundation on which Lesley builds her principles and premise for her business by using her expertise to assist other women.
From a Ghanaian and Irish background, Lesley set off to find the parallels between boxing in Ghana and in the United Kingdom. The documentary ‘The Ring: A woman’s place’ seeks to explore the advancement of female boxing in Ghana if any, and to see if her background has had any impact on her boxing ability. It also aims to improve the image of women’s boxing around the world.
The Ghana UK Based Achievement (GUBA), caught up with Lesley to find out about her expedition to Ghana and how she manages to successfully manage all her endeavours.
I am very sure you’ve heard about GUBA Awards, what do you think of a Ghanaian recognition event?
I think it is an amazing opportunity to celebrate the achievements of Ghanaians across the board and GUBA are doing a fantastic job by recognizing and rewarding hard working and inspirational Ghanaians.
Please tell us a bit about Lesley Sackey, we would like to know the point in your life you decided to take up boxing and about being the first British woman to win the European Union Championships?
I took up boxing as a way to keep fit, my coach saw something in me and urged me to try amateur boxing and there on I was hooked. I was the first woman to enter the EU championships and win gold and it was an amazing feeling especially competing against more experienced boxers and being able to deliver. It made a huge difference to my life and my sport.
What was the buzz about the successful introduction of female boxing in this year’s London Olympics? How excited were you at the medal won in the female boxing? Share with us!
It was amazing to see all the girls competing for Great Britain that I have trained with over the years. It felt particularly special to see them up there on the world stage performing exceptionally. Female boxing has come very far and I’m happy to see its rise and popularity.
How do you manage to juggle your boxing career, with TV/radio work, mentoring and many more?
It is all about timing and now adding motherhood into the equation makes it even more of a challenge! However, if you plan ahead and create time for important things you seem to get a lot done.
What inspired you to embark on your journey to Ghana and to film your documentary (the Ring- A Woman’s place)?
As my father is from Ghana I wanted to go back and explore if there were any female boxers. I have trained there in the past but in the lead up to 2012 Olympics, I wanted to investigate what Ghana was doing to encourage female boxers.
Will this Documentary be shown on mainstream TV after such a successful Olympics in female boxing?
It is in the process of being marketed to various channels and radio stations, it is still in the early stages but we will see what the outcome will be.
What advice would you give to aspiring female athletes?
I will advise aspiring female athletes to never give up and train hard and through that they will be able to fight easy!
We hope you will be at this year’s GUBA 2012 Awards
I would love to attend this year’s GUBA awards as long as I receive an invitation.
Interview by Claudia Andrews
Photos : Simon Stanmore