Sinead Price-Greene, boxer

I can take a punch, and I can give one right back. I learned how to stand my ground at a young age because of the people I was sparing during training. Since I was sixteen years old, I have been boxing and training with men that have been taller and stronger than me.

I remember one of the first times I got hit while I was sparring with a guy that was part of the same club as me. He punched me right in the nose, and it started to bleed. I did not want to show any weakness even though my eyes were beginning to water up. All I was thinking was that I have to keep going.

I have always been involved in sports since I was young. During the London Olympics in 2012, I saw Nicola Adams compete and was mesmerised at how she moved her body around the ring. Every since then I knew I had to try boxing.

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Sparring with men is a different experience than sparing with another woman. In the beginning, the other men would want to take it easier on me because they did not want to be the one to hit a girl. Usually, they would get yelled at by the coach to hit me harder because I’m not going to break or they get sent out of the ring. Sometimes, I'd catch them with a powerful right hook, and they knew I was here to train seriously.

I am lucky enough to be in a club where there is no prejudice and that I have a coach that would never treat me differently than any other boxer in the gym. However, I am still aware that I am the only woman and that I cannot show weakness because in a way I am the weaker gender. I think that it’s a mental block I battle within myself.

In the gym, you are surrounded by all men and committed to a sport that is male-dominated and brutal so you’ve got this bravado you’ve got to keep up that you are strong and cannot be hurt.

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When I am sparring another woman I do not always think about difference between punching her or another man. All I am thinking about is that I am reading the situation correctly and scoring points with the judges. When I do make contact with the body or face, I know I am hitting the right place but I do think to myself, 'did that hurt’?

My mum, Linda has always supported my love of boxing and the person I always want in my corner. When I told her I wanted to start boxing, she told me to find a boxing gym. She is a strong woman that has never relied on anyone, and I think that has transferred to me.

I have had male family members and family friends say, "you don’t want to wreck your pretty face” or "boxing isn’t really for you, why don’t you try gymnastics”, but I never listened to what they said. I have made many sacrifices and lost friends so I could train and become the boxer I am today.

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As of today, I have had eight fights. I have won four and lost four but my motivation to improve never stops. It is part of my identity, and I love to see the reactions on people’s faces when they hear I fight for the first time. My dream is to make the Great Britain Olympic team one day. I know that I will need to make even more scarifies, but I am willing to do it for this sport.