A sport student from New College Lanarkshire is flying out to Ukraine today to represent Scotland at the European Boxing Championships.
Stephen Newns, 19, a student of HNC Fitness, Health and Exercise at our Motherwell Campus, is one of ten amateur boxers to be selected for Boxing Scotland’s squad.
The former Taylor High School pupil is the reigning Scottish senior welterweight champion and will compete against boxers in the 69kg category.
Stephen, who lives in Cleland, said: “It feels brilliant to be selected to represent Scotland.
“I’ve worked so hard and put in all the effort and I’ve done everything that was asked of me, and now I’m reaping the rewards.
“I was a youth until last year and I could only box people who were the same age as me, but now I can box anyone over age the age of 19.”
The EUBC European Boxing Championships take place in the Ukrainian city of Kharkiv from June 16 until 25.
Competitions will take place in the 3,000-seater Lokomotyv Sports Palace.
The top eight boxers in each of the championships’ ten weight categories will qualify for the AIBA World Boxing Championships in Hamburg in August.
The Scotland team depart today and will spend two weeks at the preparation camp near the venue ahead of the championships.
Stephen has been boxing since the age of seven, and competing since he was 11 years-old.
He is coached by his dad, also Stephen, at Cleland Miners Boxing Club.
Stephen’s high profile wins include claiming a gold medal at the GB Junior Championships in Cardiff in 2014.
After completing his HNC, Stephen hopes to progress to study for the HND part-time to fit in with his boxing and training commitments.
He added: “It’s difficult combining my studies with boxing but I’ve managed to find a balance.
“It keeps me busy and I enjoy having both; I like to keep myself occupied and I’m interested in both the College and boxing.
“I would like to turn professional in the future. My long-term goal is to reach the 2018 Commonwealth Games in the Gold Coast in Australia and it’s looking good so far.”
Jim Griffin, Curriculum and Quality Leader for Sport & Fitness, said: “Stephen is a very capable student who is balancing his college life and sporting life remarkably well, considering the sacrifices he has to make.
“He is an elite performer who the other students can look up to as a role model.
“We want to support him as much as we possibly can to achieve his goals and be successful in both his studies and at the European Championships.”
Read more about Sport courses starting in August at our campuses in Motherwell and Broadwood here: