Boxer, Oliver Kitchen
Oliver Kitchen is a courageous young boxer from Exmouth, Devon,
seeking to realise his dream of participating in the Olympic Games.
He has been boxing since he was eight years-old. Oliver was selected
to attend The Frank Bruno Boxing Academy in Orpington, Kent, where
he is being groomed for Olympic Games by an ex-British Boxing
Champion Boxer and Terry Edwards, a former Great Britain Coach.
Oliver was given a new JWCT grant, increased to the value of
£1,000 in recognition of his efforts and achievements throughout the
previous year which included winning the Jack Petchy Award for the
most outstanding student in the London Boroughs and Kent, and
winning the award for the most improved boxer in the Academy. He
also reached the third round of the Clubs for Young People
Championships in Bristol, where he lost to Miley Cash, an England
International, who was an eventual finalist.
Last year’s funding has helped Oliver buy boxing equipment, new
boots, running shoes, boxing gloves and a uniform for his school, in
addition to travelling expenses when we travel to shows.
Oliver said on receiving the grant “I would like to say a
massive thanks to [the JWCT] for the generous grant which [has]
enabled me to pursue my dreams. I felt touched that some else has
realised my dreams with me and [are] supporting me.”
Oliver was given a £750 JWCT grant in October 2009. Oliver’s
parents contacted the JWCT due to the increasing financial pressure
on the family for accommodation costs, boxing equipment and uniform
and training camps that this entailed, including an altitude
training camp in Tenerife and a trip to Las Vegas to train with
boxing world champions.
17-year old Ollie explained his introduction to boxing: “I
have been boxing since I was eight years-old and only started boxing
to lose weight as at the time I was overweight and was getting
bullied for it. . . . Then when I was ten I suddenly found myself
really enjoying the boxing part of training and was starting to pick
up some skills. I was going down the gym twice a week also at this
point in my life I was just going into secondary school and was
loosing weight due to the fitness, so my coach turned around just
before my eleventh birthday and said that I was ready for my first
bout. Then over the next three years . . . I only had seven bouts.
This was partly due to me still being heavy for my age and partly
due to suffering badly with nerves. As in each of my first seven
bouts I was sick in between the bouts and I can't say I really
enjoyed the experience! At the time I was told that it would get
better and it did. Then when I was fifteen . . . I was asked to
train with the seniors . . . I learnt more in the first six weeks
than I did during the whole time I boxed before. I now loved boxing
as a sport and . . . I would watch boxing at every opportunity. I
was also now winning most of my bouts and no longer being sick in
between rounds. So my coach decided to enter me into the National
Championships which I was eventually knocked out in the semi-finals
to the eventual winner. This made me rank third in the English
ranking for my weight and age.” Since then he was selected for
the Western Counties boxing squad, and later crowned Devon, Dorset
and Cornwall champion and subsequently Western Counties champion.
More recently he reached the quarter finals of the National Amateur
Boxing Association Championships, winning two titles on his way –
the Southern Area and the Western Counties Championships.
Ollie said “I am now six weeks into the Academy and it’s
great. We train twice a day most days with a run in the morning at
6am . . . and train in the night and afternoon. Also at the academy
we are doing a BTEC Sport Level Three, a personal training course,
lifeguard course and ICT A-level . . . I have had 19 bouts (11 wins,
8 loses). From boxing I want to achieve as much as I can, the
coaches at the Academy say that we should all aim for the Olympics
and that’s what I am doing. But if I don’t I will still box to the
highest level possible.”