UTS Housing Residents box with an Olympian
Taking a break from her rigorous Commonwealth Games training, Olympic boxer Shelley Watts instead returned to the grassroots this week to spread her love for the sport.
“I was really impressed actually. UTS Housing resident and in-house fitness trainer, Monique Pont, is doing a really great job … it’s really easy to teach people who already know the correct technique,” Shelley said after the session.
It’s one of many sessions the Australian boxer is doing with the community – something she identifies with on a personal level.
“Coming from a small town, I notice that you don’t get a lot of famous sportspeople there. But at the grassroots is where it all starts,” she said.
And her passion was plain to see throughout the whole session, from the warm up all the way to chatting with residents after the session.
“Boxing has been a saviour for me, and I’m literally living a fairy tale. And if I can pass that on to anyone else … I’d love to do that because it’s just such an amazing sport.”
The boxer’s passion definitely was infectious. Helen Askwith, who participated in the training, said: “I loved the session! I learnt how to correct my technique in boxing, which I thought was great, and I can now say an Olympic boxer has given me tips.”
“I think it was fantastic that she gave up her time to come and run the session. Shelley is an amazing woman, and it was a privilege to be part of it,” she said.
Going for gold, again
Shelley wasn’t the only guest at UTS Housing on the day. A three-man camera crew accompanied her, filming the session with residents for their upcoming documentary about the boxer. The crew made Iron Psyche in 2013, a short doco following her unforgiving training regime. Four years and one Commonwealth Games gold medal later, they decided to come back for more and are currently filming a ‘part two’.
In November 2017 Shelley will contest the Australian Title (which doubles as the qualifiers for the 2018 Commonwealth Games) then return to a tough schedule of training in hopes of claiming a second gold at the Games on the Gold Coast.
Meanwhile, Monique Pont also hopes to be training hard – using tips and techniques from the session to improve her own boxing classes at UTS Housing.
“I certainly learnt a lot from Shelley – for myself and also for future boxing classes with the residents!” Monique said.
“Shelley’s juggling of her law studies and her intense training regime is something that we as UTS students admire, and have huge respect for. We understand the level of effort required to achieve good results in our studies… but to train like a machine every day on top of that?!? Wow. What a ‘super-woman’.”
Shelley Watts is one of the first high-profile figures to visit UTS Housing in 2017, but she certainly won’t be the last – we’ve got plans in the works for more to come, so stay tuned on Facebook and on the mobile app.
For more images of the session, click here. Questions? Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.