'There's no boundaries': Leeds Olympic boxer Nicola Adams on inspiring young women during International Women's Day

Young girls were treated to a boxing masterclass from Olympian Nicola Adams to mark International Women's Day (IWD).

By Rebecca Marano
Tuesday, 8th March 2022, 5:09 pm

The double-gold medallist returned to Bad Company Gym in Glenthorpe Crescent, Burmantofts, on Monday, March 7 to meet with the budding boxers.

Nicola, who trained at the gym as a young woman, demonstrated some key moves for the keen students.

The young girls then practised the moves while under the watchful eye of Nicola - with the Mayor of West Yorkshire Tracy Brabin and Deputy Mayor for Policing and Crime, Alison Lowe, also giving the moves a go too.

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Young girls were treated to a boxing masterclass from Olympian Nicola Adams to mark International Women's Day (IWD). This year's theme is break the bias. Photo: James Hardisty

After the session, Nicola took the time to sit down and answer questions, giving the the girls an insight into what it takes to become a boxing champion.

Speaking to the Yorkshire Evening Post, Nicola said: "International Women's Day means a lot to me.

"It’s a time to celebrate women and how many things we’ve been able to achieve.

"It also gives the younger generation a chance to see what’s possible.

Nicola Adams, helping youngsters (left to right) Mya France, aged 8, and Mylee Greener, aged 9. Photo: James Hardisty

"There’s no boundaries for them as to what they can achieve in life what their goals can be, even if the goal isn’t there it can hopefully give them the drive to be able to go for it anyway and create a new path just like I did.

Nicola, who recently shared the exciting news that she is expecting her first child baby with partner Ella, added: "There's so many more women getting involved in sport now and its good to see.

"Women in sport now gets a lot more coverage than it used to and every time there's an Olympic event on or an event where there's lots of different sports you see a lot more kids getting involved because, you only ever see the mainstream sports, but the Olympics is one time where you get to see lots of different sports and that's when you see a lot of kids getting into the gyms and trying sports they may not of even known existed.

"There's been a lot of young kids asking tips about boxing and how to get into boxing. It is really good to see especially because I've got such a big love and passion for the sport.

Nicola Adams and Mayor of West Yorkshire Tracy Brabin. Photo: James Hardisty

"When I was growing up there wasn't any female boxing Olympic champions for me to look up to and now young girls have someone to look up to and be like 'yeah this can be a goal this is actually achievable".

Deputy Mayor for Policing and Crime, Alison Lowe, said: "International Women's Day means to me that we are putting a spotlight on the successes of women and finally recognising the contributions that women make, not just here in West Yorkshire but globally.

"Women are fab, women are amazing. I've known that all my life and International Women's Day is the day we get to say 'yes girl, we're great' and we all come together as one to celebrate each other's achievements. It is fantastic.

"It's so important for young girls to have someone like Nicola to look up to. If you can see it, you can be it.

"I'm an east Leeds girl, I grew up down the road, and I understand that we don't have a lot of role models here in east Leeds and we really need to show young women that they can be strong, they can be resilient and we can be winners. Winners in life as well as winning in boxing.

"What Nicola is giving to them is hope, aspiration and a sense of pride in their gender, a sense of understanding that women are not the softer sex, the weaker sex - we are whatever we want to be.

"And if that's boxing on a world class stage then that's what we can be."

Tracy Brabin added: "Nicola is an absolute inspiration to young woman from this community who has achieved so much and has come back to the community to share her knowledge

"She couldn't be a better advocate for what we can achieve in West Yorkshire."

The Mayor of West Yorkshire will publish her first Police and Crime Plan on Thursday, March 10.

Ms Brabin said: "Today we've had the opening of our International Women's Week with the amazing Nicola Adams saying to young girls 'you can go all the way, work hard and you can achieve your dreams.'

"It's a celebration but also a challenge that there is still more to do.

"We are launching our Policing and Crime plan on March 10.

"At the heart of that is the safety of women and girls and were investing a huge amount to support the work locally.

"We are hopefully going to be a national leader. To have Alison and myself in these posts, with our lived experience, it was a real privilege to be able to get West Yorkshire Police to come with us on the journey to making misogyny a recorded hate crime.

"These sorts of differences for our community are things were going to be celebrating".

The theme for this year's IWD is 'break the bias'.

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