Sixteen-year-old junior national champion, Georgia O’Connor, who trains with Paul Lysaght and Tony Galliphant at the Durham University Boxing base at Hild & Bede, has been called up to represent England at next month’s European Championships in Turkey.
Returning to the scene she medalled last year is an achievement in itself for the three times Junior National champion and she’ll be looking to begin the new season in emphatic style.
Heading to Sheffield the day before the squad heads to Turkey, O’Connor, who is one of only a handful of athletes on the female excel programme, is progressing nicely at Durham having moved from Brandon at the end of last season.
Last week saw Georgia, alongside other top junior athletes around the country, attend a four-day junior and youth selection camp at Sheffield’s Institute of Sport where she achieved her goal saying: “I’ve had a fantastic camp alongside the best female boxers in the country.
“I’ve gained some valuable sparring experience with two of the elite boxers that were present and techniques from all the coaches down at GB.
“I’m feeling really excited to go to Turkey. After representing England in the Europeans last year and obtaining a bronze medal I’m hoping to do even better this year, my ultimate goal to bring back a gold medal.
“Me and my parents usually plan a holiday in the six weeks however this year I am having to forfeit again; I’ve also made other sacrifices as my training has got to be prioritised at this time so that I can be the best I can be.
“Flying out to different countries with my England teammates and coaches is one of the proudest feelings I have ever experienced, and I can’t wait to do it all again come September.
“I’d like to thank my coaches at Durham, Paul Lysaght and Tony Galliphant for all the extra training and coaching they have given me, and will continue to do so to make sure I perform at my best. I really appreciate everything they are doing, and I hope I make them proud.”
Durham were only too happy to answer the call from England Coach Amanda Coulson to put Georgia under their wing and, with a female section which includes the like of Jess Slaughter, Leanne Street and Chanel Wild, Paul Lysaght is delighted with the 16-year-old’s early progression.
He said: “She came to us a few months ago and we were delighted that we were able to help.
“Georgia is a nice, dedicated girl with a lovely attitude. Not only is she grounded and down-to-earth, she also helps the other girls in the gym.
“I’m personally committed to help her for the Euros and whether it’s speed, stamina, strength, running or even nutrition, we’re there for her.
“This is also a great benchmark for us as a club to have someone like Georgia here. We’re now just working through the programme between myself and Tony whilst adding some fun into the mix as well to keep her going.”