Q&A with Team GB Boxer from Blyth, Savannah Stubley
The Port of Blyth recently sponsored Savannah Stubley from the Empire School of Boxing in Blyth as she made her senior international debut at the 2022 Commonwealth Games.
Team England secured its most successful Games at Birmingham 2022 with a record-breaking medal haul of 176, one of which was won by flyweight Savannah Stubley in the boxing quarter-finals.
We had the pleasure of meeting up with Savannah and her Coach, Les Welsh on her return to ask a few questions about her journey:
How does it feel to bring home a bronze medal?
Savannah: It feels great. The atmosphere throughout the whole event was incredible. It has been nonstop since we got back so it still feels surreal. The support I’ve had from the community is overwhelming, I kept making a heart with my hands in pictures to dedicate to the people of Blyth who were behind me the whole way.
How did you get into boxing?
Savannah: I was first exposed to boxing when my younger brother joined a boxing club, I asked my parents if I could start too, but there was some hesitation as there were no other girls in the club at the time. I persisted and now 14 years later, I hope I can be a role model to encourage girls to box from a young age with no hesitation or barriers. We are already starting to see more and more talented girls coming through the boxing club.
How has the Empire School of boxing supported you?
Savannah: Empire School of Boxing has supported me all the way, they are like a second family to me. Margaret and Les, the owners, have always ensured I have everything I need to be the best I possibly can be.
Les: We have world-class coaches who are not just great for boxers but great for people. Our ten coaches have a diverse set of skills which work together to deliver the whole package to our members. We support kids throughout their growth into adulthood, helping them not only with their boxing skills but with discipline, careers and life skills too.
What advice would you give to someone just starting their journey who would love to achieve what you have?
Savannah: Stick in and put in the hard work and you’ll get there. I have dedicated the last 14 years to this sport, it’s been a huge commitment, but when you love something, it’s easy to sacrifice other things to make your dreams a reality. I’ve always struggled to be away from training, even on holiday when I was younger, I would find somewhere to train, it’s my passion.
What will the Empire School of Boxing do with the money donated by POB?
Les: The money will support Savannah to continue her boxing career. As Savannah trains at the English Institute of Sport in Sheffield 3 times a week, the money will support her with her general expenses so that she doesn’t have to worry about the financial costs of competing.
What is next for Savannah?
Savannah: The Europeans in October and the World Championships in January. My training has already started with both Team GB and Empire School of boxing. My ultimate goal is to win an Olympic Gold Medal in the next Olympic games.
Les: The way Savannah boxed against the current world champion in the Commonwealth Games at only 21 years of age demonstrated to everyone that Savannah has something special. Savannah never stopped smiling the whole way through and her down-to-earth attitude was noticed by many.
Empire School of Boxing
Based in Blyth, Empire School of Boxing is a progressive boxing club that has been running for over 30 years. With the ambition to produce good people first and good boxers second, the school offers training for amateurs as well as both national and international level boxers.