By Kirsty Smyth
LOCAL boxer Katy Atkin is setting her sights on London 2012.
With less than a year until the Olympics, the lightweight contender has put herself in contention for a Great Britain spot.
After becoming Scottish 60kg champion last year, defeating three times Great Britian and Irish title holder Louise Mitchell in the process, Katie went on to win the prestigious Angered international boxing tournament in Sweden.
“The Olympics are kind of a big ask but at the same time there’s nearly a whole year to train for it,” says the 22-year-old former Eyemouth High School pupil.
“I’m definitely hoping to be at the Commonwealth Games in 2014.
“I’d like to say it would be a bonus if I get to the London Olympics as well, but I don’t want to go in thinking it’s a long shot - I want to go in thinking I’m a contender.”
Now living in Goswick after completing her law degree at Aberdeen University, Katy is travelling to Meadowbank three times a week to train with women’s national coach Mark Geraghty, and putting herself through her paces at the Swan Centre on the days she can’t make it to the capital.
“I’m planning on moving to Edinburgh so I can train more often there,” she says,”but I’m looking for sponsorship because I can’t really work full time and train as much as i need to.
“It’s almost like a full time job - generally when I’m coming up to a fight the training intensifies and I train twice a day six days a week. It’s difficult to do that while I’m working as well, but ideally that’s what you have to do.”
To secure a coveted GB 2012 place, Katy would need to impress at the next year’s World Championships in China.
“The World Championships are in China in May - it sounds a long way off but you’ve got to start preparing around a year in advance,” she says. “I’d need to come in the top eight at the Worlds to go to the Olympics.”
Katy has the opportunity to establish herself as one of Britain’s top female boxers at the Great Britain Championsips in November, when she’ll come up against her English and Welsh counterparts.
“I’ll take on the girls in England then who are in the running for the Olympics,” she explains.
“A lot of the girls down south are ranked in the top 20 in the world so I’m looking forward to going up against them and seeing where I’m at.
“It will be a challenge because they are a lot more experienced than I am, but I’ve got the opportunity so I have to go there and take it - I’ve got nothing to lose.”
Katy has always been sporty, but her family were a little taken aback when she began boxing at university - particularly her mum. However, they put their initial reservations aside to support her in the ring.
“This is completely what I want to do,” Katy says. “My parents are really supportive. My mum came to watch one of my fights for the first time last year - I think she was pleasantly surprised that I didn’t get hurt!”
The prospect of getting hurt isn’t something that preys on Katy’s mind.
“I have five brothers and they have had far more injuries playing rugby than I have, rugby’s much more violent than what I do!” she insists.
With 2012 the first Olympics to include female boxing, Katy says she thinks the sport is set to really take off.
“After the Olypics it will take off big time,” she says. “It’s already one of the fastest growing sports in the world and I think people will be really impressed by the standard there.”
To find out more about sponsoring Katy and helping her towards her Olympic dream, contact her on 07915 405068 or firstname.lastname@example.org