Boxing is one of the sport's that requires the most discipline and dedication but the rewards from it are great. And after two days of hard work, the athletes of the Road to London program could already see the loss of the excess weight gained on their travels. As the TV Crews swept through the training hall to catch glimpses of the stars of tomorrow, there was a real buzz amongst the boxers. They were all also enjoying the attention paid to them by the growing crowds.
The essential morning run was already a distant memory when the athletes were put through a fast-paced routine for the visiting media just before lunch time. Drills, skipping and circuit work before donning the gloves for some toe-to-toe sparring in the ring. Switching between stations, the various groups of ten boxers were showcasing their skills, working extra hard just for the TV cameras. After a lot of sweat, the muscles ached, but a visit to the scales proved just how much weight the athletes were shedding.
Delighted at such a productive morning, the food served at lunch was eaten up in no time, before the men and women had a little break to put their feet up, play some pool and let the body relax. Once digestion had past, the troops were rallied for the third and final session of the day. This time it was a rotation between stations of coaches, working the pads in aggressive style and continuously moving with very little time for the men and women to catch their breath. This was an opportunity for Head Coach Colin Jones to see firsthand the boxers working one-on-one with each of the 14 coaches.
One last warm down and some stretching concluded another intense day for the participants. In store for the third day will be the introduction of interval runs in the morning to increase lung capacity and distribution of blood to all parts of the body and in the afternoon, speed and punching bag work.
Sri Lanka's Anusha Dilrukshi Kodithuwakku Arachchilage who has struggled with her knee of late but is enjoying the experience so much, did not want to face the prospect of missing out on a single session. After the physios recommended she gave her joints time to recover, Anusha begged Head Coach Colin Jones to allow her to take part. In the face of such willingness, an answer was quickly found for the Sri Lankan Flyweight. A bicycle would be provided, reducing the impact to her knee without her missing any of the preparations. Simple solutions make all the difference.
"This is a great opportunity for the women boxers to reach new levels, the sport is growing and we are part of it, it is fantastic to be here", declared Alexis Pritchard of New Zealand.
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