Boxing

Army Boxers Return To Training Inspired By Karriss Artingstall's Olympics Success

After a long break due to COVID-19, the competitors are back in the Army Boxing gym.

The Army boxing team have returned to training in Aldershot after watching one of their own, Gunner Karriss Artingstall, win a bronze medal at the Tokyo Olympics.

The boxers have been unable to spar in the gym since March 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Lockdown-enforced virtual sessions are over and they are now back working hard at the Army Boxing gym with a full season of bouts planned.

Sergeant James Allen, the Army Boxing lead coach, is hopeful of a successful season.

He explained: "Already pencilled in for this season are two national championships. That's what we train for. That's our big thing every year.

"It's looking like a good season so, hopefully, a few national champions this season."

One of the best hopes of a championship for the Army is Lance Corporal Carnell Brown in the light-heavyweight division.

Sergeant James Allen is hoping for a successful season after returning to the Army Boxing gym.

The member of Royal Welsh 1 is pleased to be back in the gym but did admit he found it odd at first.

"It's strange being back, but very refreshing," said the Army boxer. "It's given me good time to reset my mindset – a fresh start.

"The hunger is there. The motivation's there and, yeah, it's brilliant to be back, to meet everybody, be back with the team, back with the coaches," added LCpl Brown.

Gunner Karriss Artingstall is not the first Army boxer to secure national and international success.

Corporal Alanna Nihell is an experienced member of the team and won a bronze medal at the Commonwealth Games in 2014.

She is back for a final shot at a gold despite taking time away from the ring to start a family.

She explained: "Yeah, I'll be honest when COVID-19 came in after the baby, I didn't know what I was going to do.

"I thought 'You know what? While I'm young and I'm still fit, I'm going to finish off on a high and give it everything'.

"Why not maybe another Nationals? Maybe another Commonwealth Games? Who knows, we'll see."

The maternal side of Cpl Nihell is also on show at training and she admits she is a mentor for many young boxers.

"I'm a bit of a mother hen of the team," she said.

"It's great to be around the team again. I've seen all the next generation come through and how everyone is developing."