THE HUNSLET Club have been accustomed to sporting success over recent years.
Whether it be boxers Douglas Pattison and Hope Price winning national titles – or golfer Jennifer Conlon starring on an international stage – the club’s name has been carried to glory with flying colours of late with the club’s rugby league team also having a stellar year.
Cricketer Max Chappell and boxer Abby Briggs have continued the success story in 2016 – with club trustee Andrew Beadnall tipping the latter to shine at a future Olympics – when he hopes to have a front row seat to watch.
National champions Pattison and Price have already proved knockout stars in the boxing ring and now Price’s younger brother Ellis has also been crowned a national champion.
Ismail Khan has also been crowned an English champion this year with Jacob Staten another of the club’s up-and-coming talents.
But after winning the Esker Cup representing Yorkshire in Dublin, 11-year-old Briggs is proving it’s not just the males at Hunslet who can pack a punch in the boxing ring and Beadnall is hoping that the teenager can eventually emulate Leeds female boxing sensation Nicola Adams.
At just 11 years of age, Briggs will likely have to wait until at least 2024 to compete at an Olympics – when she will be 19. Even 2028 may be more appropriate but Beadnall is holding dreams of seeing the youngster star at the Games in 2024.
And there’s no denying the sporting strength of the club as a whole with Chappell also thriving in the cricketing sphere having had a stellar season for the Hunslet Nelson Cricket Club and England under-19s.
Beadnall beamed: “At the Hunslet Club we have been delighted with the club’s continued sporting success throughout this last year and Max and Abby are the latest stars on the scene.
“And for definite I can see Abby going on to be an Olympian.
“When she went over to represent Yorkshire in Dublin she wasn’t just boxing against kids from over there.
“She was representing Yorkshire – her home county – and was fighting against kids who had won other finals. She is a real talent.”
There has, though, been so much more to the Hunslet Club’s boxing success story in 2016.
And while Briggs would probably have to wait to fulfil any Olympic dreams, Beadnall has high hopes that Price might be able to grace the stage at Tokyo 2020.
Dennis Robbins, the club’s chief executive and boxing coach has been thrilled with the 2016 success story in the ring.
He explained: “Hope Price’s unbeaten season included the Tri-Nations gold medal representing England and winning gold at the European Juniors held in Hungary.
“His younger brother Ellis also remains unbeaten in the 2015-2016 season winning the National Schools title and he has been selected for the England boxing squad.
“Abby Briggs is also proving that it’s not only about the boys when it comes to boxing at the club and only recently Hunslet Club’s boxing show had nine of their boxers competing against opposition from the rest of the country and they won all of their nine bouts, with Ismail Khan successfully defending his English belt on the night and Jacob Staten winning ‘Boxer of the Night’.
“The show and boxers all received praise from a Yorkshire senior boxing official who attended the night.”
Praise has also been commonplace for another of the club’s sporting stars this year – away from the boxing ring and on the cricket pitch.
Raised in Middleton but now living in Tingley, 16-year-old Leeds City College pupil Chappell has had a year to remember.
The slow left-arm bowler began the year playing for Hunslet Nelson Cricket Club but after taking 30 wickets during the year the young Yorkshireman has now moved to Bradford League side Pudsey Congs to further his career.
But the youngster’s success has not just been limited to the local leagues with Chappell also starring for Yorkshire. Beadnall explained: “Max started playing for the first team when he was just 15 at Hunslet Nelson. He played for the open age first team this year and, he won the players’ player of the year and also won the award for bowler of the year.
“And when he was playing for Yorkshire Under-19s this summer he played against the MCC and took five wickets in one match.
“Anybody taking five wickets and more against the MCC then receives an invitation to go down to Lords and watch a Test match and take lunch as a guest of the MCC.
“He has worked his way up through the youth ranks and in 2015 he played for the North of England Under-15s as part of the famed Bunbury Cricket Festival and took four wickets in a single match against South West England.
“Max also played football in the winter months with the Hunslet Club and they put Max in touch with the Hunslet Trust, our local charity supporting youngsters from south Leeds to achieve their potential through sport and they have now equipped Max with new bats, gloves and pads and are paying for him to have personal coaching in the winter months. He is on the Gold Pathway with Yorkshire Cricket Club which is for boys to attend winter nets with Yorkshire. They start on Bronze level when young and then work up to the Gold level. Even though he is only 16 this is Max’s third year on the Gold Pathway with Yorkshire.”
The Ashes will be Chappell’s ultimate dream – and be it on the cricketing field or in the boxing ring, Beadnall is backing the club’s youngsters to the hilt.
Immediately speaking though, the Hunslet trustee is particularly excited by Price – with Briggs the long-term dream for 2024.
Beadnall beamed: “Without a shadow of any doubt, Hope Price – who is now 16 – in 2020 – will be an Olympian.
“Not only is he a great boxer but he has got a charm and everybody who meets him says the same thing about him.
“That is a boy who will be an Olympian, I have no doubt about that.”
Beadnall quipped: “Eight years from now I will be 43 and if Abby Briggs gets to the Olympics rest assured I will be there! I have said to all of these kids – including Max Chappell who I am sure will one day play for England – the only word I want back from all of them is that when they do get the big time I get front row seats!”