Tag Archive: Boxing Academy

New boxing academy to be launched at Bradford school

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The new Carlton Police Boxing Academy has been launched in a partnership between a Bradford school and a popular boxing club.

The state of the art facility was unveiled at Carlton Bolling College, in Undercliffe Lane, afternoon.

The school has refurbished the former Duke of Edinburgh Awards Centre on its site to turn it into a community boxing gym.

The new facility is to provide a new home for the Bradford Police Boys Amateur Club, run by Julian Cyprien, which is moving from its Nelson Street base in the city.

The partnership came about after Carlton Bolling College’s Headteacher Adrian Kneeshaw visited the Bradford Police Boys Amateur Club and was impressed with the commitment of the young people involved.

Carlton Bolling College hopes that the boxing gym will prove to be a popular asset for both pupils at their school and for the wider community.  

There has already been a big interest among pupils wanting to sign up at the academy ahead the launch.

Mr Kneeshaw: “We are delighted to be able to provide this state of the art facility for our community in partnership with Julien Cyprien and the Bradford Police Boxing Club.

“As a school we are all about raising aspirations and promoting excellence and the Boxing Academy supports this ethos.

“We are looking forward to seeing future champions emerge from the Carlton Police Boxing Academy gym who can help to put Bradford firmly on the map.”

Coun Imran Khan, Bradford Council’s Executive Member for Education, Employment and Skills said: “I am very pleased to see the new Carlton Police Boxing Academy being launched at Carlton Bolling College.

“This is a great example of one of our schools working in partnership with a sports club in Bradford to benefit both pupils and the wider community.”

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Golden touch

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CHAMPION: Harris Akbar clinched Gold in the welterweight boxing category at the Commonwealth Youth Games

CHAMPION: Harris Akbar clinched Gold in the welterweight boxing category at the Commonwealth Youth Games

Bradford boxer clinches top prize at Commonwealth Games

A heavy-hitting teenage boxer from Bradford took the biggest step in his youth career earlier this month as he scooped Gold at the Commonwealth Youth Games in Samoa.

16-year-old Harris Akbar travelled to the Polynesian Island as part of Team England, competing in the biggest tournament of his short career to date.

Having represented the country previously at junior level, it was the first time that the Grange Technology College student had stepped up to the international Youth’s (16-18-year-olds).

GOLDEN: Harris Akbar describes the victory as ‘the biggest achievement of his life’

GOLDEN: Harris Akbar describes the victory as ‘the biggest achievement of his life’

To qualify, Harris won Gold in the national welterweight competition and the Four Nations, before being picked as the youngest member of Team England’s boxing squad for Samoa.

Fighting his way through to the final, the young ace faced off against Northern Ireland’s Brett McGinty for the prestigious Gold, and eventually picked up a unanimous points victory.

“It’s indescribable how it felt to win the Gold,” he said. “I was confident in myself going into the tournament but to have a Gold medal is the biggest achievement in my life.

“Fighting in Samoa was hard, it was really warm and the flight there took over 24-hours so that had an impact as well.

“The final was my toughest fight. [McGinty] was a stocky guy with a lot of power in his punches but I knew that if I kept him at reach I would be fine.

“I knew I had won after the fight and it really is hard to describe the feeling.”

Taking up the sport at the age of ten, after trying out ‘every other sport’, Harris fell in love with the action-packed world of boxing, citing amateur legend - Guillermo Rigondeaux, as his inspiration.

Currently training at Bradford College’s Boxing Academy, he says he hopes to continue progressing in the sport and compete at the highest amateur levels.

“I want to keep going in the sport and keep progressing,” he said. “My dad is a big motivator and so are my coaches who help me with everything.

“My aim is to compete at the Olympics one day and just keep going forwards.”

Bradford College Boxing Academy Coach, Mally MacIver, said he was always backing the local Bradfordian’s chances heading into the Commonwealths and sees a big future ahead.

SUPPORT: Bradford College Boxing Academy coach, Mally MacIver, says Harris has a big future ahead of him

SUPPORT: Bradford College Boxing Academy coach, Mally MacIver, says Harris has a big future ahead of him

“I knew he’d do it before he went and was quietly confident as long as he stuck to his routine,” he said.

“He was the youngest lad in the competition so it is a huge achievement for him and I think he will go a long way in the sport if he keeps his head down.

“Hopefully he can follow on from the success of other boxers from the college and get into the GB Podium team then onto the senior Commonwealths and Olympics.

“There is definitely more Gold in his future.”

Harris’ next challenge comes in Poland later this year as he travels with Team England once again in hope of clinching a European Youth Games Gold medal.

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