Institute sportsmaker selected for national showdown

Sportsmaker Kirsty Hill is preparing for the fight of her life after being selected to represent England in a boxing bout next Thursday.

Kirsty (26), who has worked at Grimsby Institute since February, will face Scotland’s Effy Kathopouli in a lightweight duel, set to take place in Staffordshire.

After finding out she had been selected, Kirsty said she felt “excited”, but the “added pressure to do well is nerve-wracking”.

“You’ve got coaches watching you and you’re constantly being assessed by them, so there definitely is an added pressure.

“There’s also a massive feeling of pride though, to know you’ve been seen and then selected.”

Kirsty took up boxing around six years ago, starting in Middlesbrough while at university before joining Grimsby Boxing Academy.

“Head coach Andy Cox is also a coach at the Institute, and is one of those who have pushed me from the beginning.

“He knows what I’m capable of so it’s nice for both of us to start reaping the rewards of our training programme.

“We train near enough every day and sometimes twice a day, so it’s nice to be noticed and feel like we’re getting more from it.”

The sportsmaker, whose job involves increasing participation in sports and wellbeing, has previously boxed twice for England.

While she won a bronze medal in the Tri-Nations, her last fight was lost on a close split decision against a more experienced opponent.

“Hopefully this one will see me move more in the right direction, so I’m looking forward to it.”

Kirsty added: “I really like the intensity of boxing; you leave everything in the gym. It’s quite technical and tactical and you’re always learning.”