We caught up with Professional Boxer and our very own Community Ambassador, Stacey Copeland to find out what she has been up to last month and what it meant to her being at the Tour of Tameside. So over to Stacey …
June was certainly a busy month! The Tour of Tameside took centre stage in terms of events and what a great experience it was for me as a Sports Tours ambassador to be able to go along and support across all 4 days.
“My favourite place to be at any running event is the finish line, it is always great to watch elite runners come flying through the tape, to see people delighted with beating their PB, and to see those who are just relieved and filled with pride at finishing the distance…each runner has their own goal, their own motive, and their own story and it’s fantastic to see it unfold.”
Another thing I love about the finish line is seeing club mates, running companions, and family & friends share in each other’s achievements, this sense of community spirit, kinship and support was so evident throughout the tour and an absolute joy to witness.
“Suffice to say, I felt immensely proud of my home town for making it such a fantastic event and proud to be an ambassador for the company who has brought it back! I was really pleased to hear that this tour saw more women enter than ever before, one of those women was my mum, Glennis Richardson! She finished 2nd in her age category and did really well for her first ever full tour so I am very proud of her! She’ll be back to win it next year!”
On a personal note there were ups and downs this month. I was due to fight on June 22nd, and I was getting ready to warm up when a terrible incident occurred outside the arena which resulted in a knife attack and the show was stopped. Obviously my first thoughts were with the injured man and those affected, then it began to sink in that all those weeks of hard training, sacrifice, making weight and preparing for the fight were for nothing, plus it had cost us over £3,000 in expenses for the fight which was now wasted, and finally the worry that so many family and friends were inside the arena. When I’d got changed and made my way out into the arena, many of my family and friends were there waiting for me, it meant the world to me and that support is vital to the success of any athlete. We are now preparing for my next fight which will be announced the first week of July. As with any setback in sport, it is important to try and maintain a positive mindset and keep believing, hopefully this next fight will finally be our time to do something special.
Finally, in the last week of June we had an inspiration day for primary and secondary school children as part of the Pave the Way project which I set up last year to encourage girls and women to reach their full potential through sport. As part of this we did a photography exhibition featuring women who work in sport to raise the visibility and awareness of female influencers in sport. That photo exhibition is now permanently on display in the entrance of the National Cycling Centre (Velodrome) in Manchester! We invited school children to be the first to view the exhibition and they also got to cycle around the velodrome…they were very scared at first but were soon flying around at top speed and it was great to see them grow in confidence with every lap! Another example of how amazing sport is at developing confidence and resilience. A big thanks to Sports Tours who brought goody bags for the kids which they absolutely loved! So if you get chance, please pop down to the exhibition and check it out!