Some of Britain’s best boxers lined up against their French counterparts on October 2 at a thrilling fundraising event for SportsAid that drew support from former Sports Minister Richard Caborn, Olympic boxing medallists Anthony Joshua, Luke Campbell and Richie Woodall plus Olympic taekwondo medallist Sarah Stevenson.
Although the result went the way of the visitors on the night, the main aim was to raise money for aspiring sports people from across Yorkshire and Humberside who hope to compete at the Olympic or Paralympic Games. Richard Caborn said, “It was a great night. We were treated to some fantastic international boxing and raised money for a great cause which will help talented youngsters on their way to the Rio Olympics in 2016. We are delighted that so many local businesses came along to show their backing for the region’s sporting talent.”
Olympic champion Luke Campbell is one of many thousands of British athletes who have benefited from SportsAid’s support over the years and the extra £13,000 the event raised for SportsAid Yorkshire and Humberside means more of the region’s up-and-coming sportsmen and women will get the financial backing they need to follow in his footsteps.
On the bill were two other GB boxers who have received support from SportsAid – Jack Bateson (52kg - see photo) and Luke McCormack (60kg) – who took their places alongside Commonwealth medallists Sean McGoldrick (56kg) and Sam Maxwell (64kg). The final spots went to Josh Kelly (69kg), Joshua Buatsi (81kg), Greg Bridet (91kg) and youth women’s boxer Jade Ashmore (51kg). Sam, Luke and Josh all won their bouts but losses for Jack, Sean, Joshua, Jade and Greg left France just one win up at the end of the evening.
Leeds boxer and former SportsAid recipient Qais Ashfaq tweeted afterwards, “Well done all the lads who boxed against France tonight in Sheffield, some good performances, that's what matters.”
The event attracted a large number of Yorkshire business people and sports fans who enjoyed dinner, an auction of sporting prizes and a raffle of sporting memorabilia. The night was compared by BBC Look North’s Harry Gration with the boxers introduced by Richie Woodall who won a bronze medal for Great Britain at the Seoul Olympics in 1988.
Photos: Adrian West/Templewood Media and SportsAid