The Heart of Portsmouth Boxing Academy (HOP) was celebrating this weekend after 3 of their boxers got through the Southern Counties stage of the national schoolboy championships 2011.

Sid Williams

Admiral Lord Nelson students Sid Williams (13yrs) took on England International and former National Champion Luke Thompson (Guildford City ABC). Williams boxed to instructions against a very tall and rangy opponent. Williams Backing Thompson up time and again and forcing him to trade, with Williams showing great accuracy, speed and power in his counter punching. Williams stayed focused throughout the bout and stuck to the game plan to win his National Schoolboy Southern Counties Title. Williams will be in action again in the Bristol on Saturday 5th Jan ’11 in the pre quarter finals.

Hampshire & IOW minor’s Champion – Robbie Patterson 11yrs (Stamshaw Junior School) did very well in his Southern Counties final bout, being beaten by the tightest of margins against Joey West from Woking ABC. Head Coach Paul Kapnisi was delighted with Robbie’s performance and commented “Robbie has done very well to progress this far in the national tournament; Patterson only took up the sport of boxing 1 and a half years ago via the city wide ABA national boxing awards programme , he has a great future in amateur boxing”.

Southern Counties national minor’s champion – Joe Hunt 11yrs (Admiral Lord Nelson) had mixed emotions, as his opponent pulled out prior to the bout and was awarded a walk over, Joe boxed very well last weekend in the hants v kent round and was really looking forward to boxing in the Southern Counties final, however Joe will be in action next week at Bristol for the pre quarter final stages of the event. Joe Hunt started boxing 1 year ago via the cities ABA national boxing awards programme.

Another boxer who started boxing through the cities, national boxing awards programme Jack Featherstone, 13yrs (Camshill School) boxed last week and was awarded a walkover as there was no opponent in this round. However Featherstone will be in action and representing Southern Counties in the pre quarter finals on Saturday 5th February 2011, in Bristol.

HOP Boss and ABA of England Advanced Coach “Q” Shillingford added this is great for amateur boxing in Portsmouth and proves the ABA national boxing awards boxing programme in schools is now beginning to take effect, the more schools and more boxing clubs that get involved will mean more youngsters taking part in amateur boxing and could mean more boxing champions for Portsmouth boxing clubs.

All the boxers have worked very hard to achieve their win, there dedication and commitment to training is unquestionable and they are a shinning example to what young people can do if they put their mind to it, they are all role model’s to young people pushing the barriers for sport at all levels, having been involved in amateur boxing for over 33 yrs and a former ABA Schoolboy Finalist in 1983 himself, “Q” Shillingford knows what he is talking about.

The HOP coaches are delighted in the effort and time that these young people are putting into there training and they can be proud as they are representing there school their city and the South of England.