"We're keen to continue the European City of Sport legacy here in Stoke and events like this are a great way to encourage our students and the wider public to get involved with different sports."
Daniel Stanton, Sports Development Co-Ordinator
Organisers of a national boxing competition coming to Stoke-on-Trent next month hope it will help boost the sport in the city.
The British Universities and Colleges Sport (BUCS) Boxing Championships takes place at Staffordshire University's Stanley Matthews Sports Centre on 3-5 February and members of the public are encouraged to attend.
Daniel Stanton, Sports Development Co-Ordinator at the University, is helping to organise the event. He explained: “We're keen to continue the European City of Sport legacy here in Stoke and events like this are a great way to encourage our students and the wider public to get involved with different sports – whether that's as a spectator or by actually taking part.”
Local boxing clubs have been invited to watch the matches and Daniel hopes the competition will encourage more people to pursue boxing professionally.
“The city has a history of producing pedigree boxers like Scott Lawton and Chris Edwards and hopefully this event will help inspire youngsters and revive that boxing heritage.
“The Olympics has given boxing great exposure and I'm sure we'll see some future Olympic champions competing in this tournament. We've got male and female boxers taking part which will hopefully get both boys and girls excited about the sport.”
The championships will be hosted at the Stanley Matthews Sports Centre, which received a £1.25m refurbishment as part of a £40m transformation of the University's city campus in Stoke-on-Trent.
The event is open to public with tickets costing £2 at the sports centre reception and Daniel is keen for members of the local community to come along.
He said: “Our campus isn't just for students and staff – our gym, sports facilities and cafes are open to everyone. This is a great opportunity to come along and see what we've got to offer and will hopefully encourage more people to come onto campus in future.”
A team of Staffordshire University students will help to run the three-day event, which is supported by the Amateur Boxing Association, with 150 boxers from universities across the country taking part.
Among the competitors is a Staffordshire University student hoping to win a medal on home turf. Ehsan Hussain (pictured), 23 from Hanley, is studying for a Postgraduate Certificate in the Molecular Basis of Disease and is the former 64kg regional boxing champion.
Ehsan, who trains at Golden Gloves in Golden hill, said: “I'm hoping that this will give boxing a bit of a boost so that we can set up a club at the University in the future.
"I'm really excited to have this chance to compete in front of a local crowd. It would be great if staff, students and the public came along to show their support.”
The BUCS Boxing Championships will take place from 10am-8pm on 3-5 February at the Stanley Matthews Sports Centre, Leek Rd, ST4 2DF. Tickets are available for £2 on reception.
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