Lord Wakefields Novice Boxing Championships

After the hugely successful charity boxing night that took place in December last year, the Marham boxing team found themselves, once again in action at the start of 2011.

This time, five members of the team would be fighting in their respective weight classes in the prestigious RAF Lord Wakefield Novice Boxing Championships. Held annually at RAF Cranwell, the championships are an inter-station competition, during which the RAF’s amateur boxers compete in two categories: Class A, for boxers who have fewer than ten contests and Class B, for those with ten to twenty bouts.

To build on the success of the team’s accomplishments at the Marham show, the squad hadn’t slacked on their training. With the festive season over, the boxers were getting ready to make a strong impression at the event, training no fewer than six times a week! Furthermore, with an RAF Boxing Squad week taking place the week before the championships, there was to be little rest for the Marham team.

The ‘squad week’ brings together boxers of all weights and experiences from various RAF stations. To push the fighters to the top of their game, the week consolidates all types of training into three sessions a day for a five day period, leading up to the preliminary stages of the championships. With a fantastic coaching staff lead by Combined Services Winner SAC Jock Enright and Commonwealth Bronze Medallist Cpl Owen Spensley, the training was structured into a variety of different disciplines.

Although the week had a set structure, every workout was different. However an average day consisted of three sessions. The morning sessions were mainly concerned with interval and fartlek training, being relatively short in duration but high in intensity. After lunch the training would take the form of a circuit or pads session, incorporating shadow boxing and speed work. Finally the evening session would be the most interesting, utilising the fantastic facilities at the College Gym including the main boxing ring itself. Having the ring at hand proved to be invaluable, enabling all the boxers to concentrate on technical sparring and more fight specific training, before entering the ring for real the following week.

Saturday, the first day of the championships, saw two of the Marham boxers in action; Fg Off Ben Harrold from the Tactical Imagery Intelligence Wing (TIW), in the welterweight division and SAC(T) Karl Taylor from the Combined Maintenance and Upgrade (CMU), in the middleweight division. Sunday saw SAC John Stride (TIW) in action in the light-heavyweight division, and finally on Monday night, Plt Off Dave Finn from the Station Intelligence Flight fought in the super-heavyweight division and SAC(T) Sal Hill from the Tornado Structures Flight, also the team’s captain, fought in the Class B heavyweight division. Despite hard fought bouts from all of the boxers, unfortunately on this occasion none progressed to the next round of the competition.

Despite the team’s initial disappointment, and after a short rest, the boxers were keen to get straight back into the gym to prepare and work hard to ensure success in the next set of events in the coming year.

The weekend saw some fantastic boxing across all the weight classes, with an exciting display of fitness and physical courage amongst those who competed. The competition also proved to be a great experience for all the competitors, providing a particularly valuable opportunity for the Marham novices involved.

Written By: Plt Off Dave Finn and SAC(T) Karl Taylor

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