INSPIRING A NEW GENERATION. STACEY COPELAND SPREADS THE MESSAGE OF THE RUNNING BEE FOUNDATION
I hope you’ve all had a great start to the New Year and that your training is going well!
I was away over New Year for a training camp in Tenerife. There are lots of great boxing gyms there so me and fellow Sports Tours International ambassador Cherrelle Brown went over for a week.
Whilst we were there we also did quite a bit of cycling and thanks to the mixture of heat and hills we were soon in awe of the distances some of you cover on cycle tours!
By New Year’s Eve we had cycled quite a distance and on the way back we stopped to watch the sunset – a truly special way to mark the end of 2018.
The next day I headed out on a solo ride in search of Bahia Beach where I’d been promised there’d be a beautiful view of the sunset from the edge of the island…I really wanted to watch the sunset on the last and first day of each year!
I was not disappointed, it was stunning!
However, on the way back I realised there were no lights on the bikes we’d hired and it was far too dangerous on the roads to cycle. So I had to remove the front wheel and fortunately got a lift back from a Uruguayan man named Adolfo. He spoke no English but we managed to have a great conversation about sport by acting things out! Amazing how travel can create connections with others and how communication can involve so much more than spoken language!
Since coming home it’s been full steam ahead! After months of rehab and training one-handed following surgery, I am now back punching and sparring and it feels great to be doing what I love again. We are close to finalising things for my next fight and I can’t wait to share it with everyone once it’s all confirmed!
Outside of the ring I’ve been presenting my weekly radio show on BBC Radio Manchester on Tuesday evenings – a new challenge that I’m loving! On Feb 19th I had Amy Hughes as my guest, sharing her inspiring story of running 53 marathons in 53 days, and of her attempt to break the World Record for distance running on a treadmill!
And finally, back in December I attended the launch of Sports Tours International’s brand new charity: The Running Bee Foundation!
I am delighted to be an ambassador for the charity as I’m really passionate about what it’s trying to do.
In the last few weeks I’ve been visiting schools to talk to children about my journey in sport, and to do fun activity sessions to encourage them to take part in physical exercise. It’s fantastic to see how enthusiastic kids are when given the chance to get moving! Little children are without labels, they don’t consider themselves as ‘not sporty,’ they are not worried or conscious about how they look, they don’t care if something is ‘for boys’ or ‘for girls’ – they simply don’t have any of those barriers, so they just jump, dance, slide, roll…and absolutely love every minute!
It’s so sad to think that some may reach a point where they lose interest in sport through lack of opportunity, where they are too self-conscious to take part, or that they’ll reach secondary school and the PE curriculum will be determined by gender, not by what they love.
That’s why it’s so important for us to get these messages – all of them – across to children as early as possible. It’s vital that we value physical literacy as highly as any other type of child development, to make being active fun, to ensure kids have a positive association with exercise, and to provide funding in order for children to have these opportunities…these are some of the things that the Running Bee Foundation will do and why I’m so happy to be part of it!
I’ve included a couple of photos from the school visits – I hope those bright little faces remember the fun they had every time they see Mo, our little mascot bee 😊
Looking forward to seeing some of you at the upcoming Running Bee Foundation race launch events – check the website for details and I’ll see you there.
Keep shining bright everyone!
Stacey Copeland is a Community Ambassador for Sports Tours International and The Running Bee Foundation.
Stacey loved football and boxing from an early age, but since boxing was illegal for women her career started in football, playing in the women’s Premier League and in an FA Cup Final.
In 2011, Stacey made her boxing debut and has gone on to win a Commonwealth title, European silver, three national titles, multi nations gold and medalled at numerous international tournaments.
In addition to boxing, Stacey now works closely with schools, businesses and community groups – sharing her passion for sport and the inspiring changes it can make to people’s lives.
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