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Charley Davison starts the most unlikely Olympic journey

Charley Davison
Andy Chubb/England Boxing
Mother of three Charley Davison was out of the sport for seven years. Suddenly she's back, on the GB team and going to the Olympic qualification event

How did you get on to the GB team?

I had an assessment for the 51kgs weight so I done that and then they asked me to go along with them to Colorado [for a training camp only in January of this year]. I think out there was a bit of test to see how I got on. I had a couple of gym bouts, then I really impressed them with how I done.

What went through your mind when the coaches told you you were going to the Olympic qualifier?

I just couldn’t believe it, because I was only up there for assessment I just thought I’d give it everything I’ve got, that’s all I could do. I was really shocked.

It’s still not sunk in properly now… It’s going to be an amazing event, especially with it being in London. Obviously I’ll be very nervous because it’s such a big event. I’m going to try and take it in my stride, treat it like any other spar, any other bout, same sort of thing in the same sort of ring.

It’s not far from my home town [Lowestoft], I’ve got quite a lot of support, I’m going to use that as a positive thing. Hopefully it’ll all go well.

How did your kids react to you getting the chance to become an Olympian (Davison is the mother of three children)?

My eldest one, he’s eight now, he understands a bit more. My little girl just keeps asking why I keep going to Sheffield, she’s only six. She doesn’t realise what I’m training for, the youngest one obviously doesn’t. They’re really excited, the eldest one more so, he comes to the gym sometimes if I’m training when I’m at home. He’ll explain to his class at his school what’s happening. It’s nice that at least one of them understands what’s going on and in future maybe they can do something they want to do sport-wise.

You’d had a long break from the sport?

Seven years out, [being a] full time mum. I just spoke to John Cremin [her club coach] one time and said I’d like to come back, train.

The hardest part was getting the fitness back… I just got fit, boxed in the [national] championships at 57kgs, but I just wasn’t big enough. The nerves got to me as well, my first bout back. Got down to 54kgs the next year, I won them at 54 [in 2019] and now I’m down at 51kgs.

I just thought national title was my first aim, obviously I didn’t want to step too far. But when I lost at 57kgs, I never wanted to feel that again. Never wanted to feel losing again. So trained really hard. Got down to 54, won that and the buzz was back.

Tickets for the event are on sale now at https://see.tickets/boxingroadtotokyo with prices starting at £5 (£2.50 concessions) for many of the sessions at the biggest Olympic boxing event to take place in England since the 2012 Olympic Games.

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