SHOLING boxer Ryan Garner admits that training in the same ring that Anthony Joshua and Luke Campbell became Olympic champions in has made him more determined than ever to break into the Team GB setup.
The 16-year-old has been working with the GB Boxing development squad at the English Institute of Sport in Sheffield, which is now home to the 6.1x6.1m ring used at the London Olympics after it was relocated from the ExCel Arena following the close of the Games, writes WILL PIPER.
Southampton ABC starlet Garner, pictured above, has already tasted international success after he was crowned European Champion in the 54kg category in Russia last year.
But the Sholing Technology College student insists it was just the start as he prepares to square up against some of the most talented young fighters around in 2014.
“I got to spar in the Olympic ring that was used in the London 2012 Olympic Games and to know that world champions have fought in that ring is amazing,” he said.
“It’s an incredible facility and it gives me inspiration to go out and achieve success myself. It inspires me because I know that they were at my level once and now they’re world champions.
“For the junior events I have coming up this year the aim is definitely to win the trophy. “I won the UK Schoolboy Championships in 2012 and 2013 and this should be a similar level of quality, so I’m confident in my ability and I fancy my chances of succeeding this year.
“My teachers and classmates all give me a lot of encouragement and they always take an interest in my fights which is nice. They all want to see me push on and do something special.”
Garner, who benefits from being an SSE Next Generation ambassador, is unable to compete at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow because he is too young.
But he insists that he will still be cheering on the British boxers as he watches from afar.
“I will be watching on TV because I loved watching the London 2012 success our boxers had and it is every amateur boxer’s dream to box for their country at the Commonwealth’s or Olympics,” he added.
“The SSE Next Generation scheme has helped me a lot with things like buying equipment and pay for training and travel costs, which has been great. I also learned a lot from the SSE nutritionist that gave us advice when we went to a meeting at the beginning of March. I’m very thankful.”
l SSE are partnering with SportsAid to support the sporting stars of the future as part of their commitment to Glasgow 2014 and beyond with their SSE Next Generation ambassador programme. Keep up to date with the latest @YourSSE.