2018 marked 100 years after women first voted in the UK. The rights and freedoms of women and girls have come along way. But even in 2019, our society is still not an equal playing field. Could sport offer the solution?
At GymPro we always try and recognise talent and look at showcasing young athlete’s potential.
This week we checked in with young Ellie Harbinson, a world champion Kickboxer who has now changed her path with a move towards becoming a professional boxer. We hope she can inspire young girls and women to get involved in combat sports and sport in general as much as she’s inspired us.
GYMPRO - WHAT MADE YOU GET INTO BOXING?
Ellie - “I was gradually falling out of love with kickboxing, I actually only went boxing to strengthen my hands and make them faster for my upcoming fights. I needed to learn more about punch specific techniques, how to get power in each punch. Ive always followed boxing and loved and admired the sport. Then finally doing it myself I just fell in love with it. It seemed a natural progression from kickboxing.”
GYMPRO - AFTER SUCH A SUCCESSFUL CAREER IN KICKBOXING, WHAT MADE YOU FEEL THE NEED TO TRANSITION INTO BOXING?
Ellie - “I have achieved a lot with my kickboxing, and I’m so proud of what I have accomplished in my 8 years. I do feel that gaining boxing titles, belts, trophies etc will mean just as much if not more to me now. Boxing is also an Olympic sport and that’s something id love to aim for. I always like to aim for a big goal. In kickboxing my big goal was achieving a world title, I couldn’t really go any further from that, hence why I moved to boxing.
GYMPRO - WERE THERE ANY ROLE MODELS THAT YOU LOOKED UP TO?
Ellie - “I have always admired Chantelle Cameron as she was a kickboxer who also transitioned from kickboxing to boxing with ease. She is an amazing fighter. Very strong, fast and powerful. I know her old club very well and have fought a few girls from their club. I also love a boxer called Katie Taylor. She is just someone I aspire to be like one day.”
GYMPRO - WHAT DID YOUR FAMILY FIRST THINK WHEN YOU TOLD THEM YOU WANTED TO GET INTO KICKBOXING?
Ellie - “My mom actually took me to my first martial arts class which was cage fighting! She has always encouraged me to be different and reach for the stars so to speak. She has taken me to many different clubs to train with lots of trainers. All whom have instilled different strengths in me. My mom and dad are both huge supporters and give me nothing but encouragement and always offer constructive criticism. My brother who is 12 is also involved in kickboxing and is already a British Champion. He also now boxes at the same gym as me.”
GYMPRO - WHAT IS YOUR PROUDEST MOMENT IN YOUR CAREER?
Ellie - “It has to be winning two world titles in one weekend! That was a buzz I will never forget! The support I had from family, friends, neighbours was just so overwhelming. I cried so much when I won it just meant everything to me. Also having the experience of travelling to Holland to fight, being part of the opening ceremony, standing in the winners podium, just all amazing memories that I will be able to share with my children and grand children one day.”
GYMPRO - WHAT IS YOU NEXT GOAL/AIM?
Ellie - “My next step is to start amateur fights in boxing and to win a few titles along the way. My ultimate goal is to get into the GB squad and one day to train in Sheffield at the GB camp. I am not a quitter! I will work hard every day to achieve my goals. Even when I have set backs, nothing stops me. I believe in myself and have a strong mindset. I will only grow and nurture the talent I have. I hope to become a skilled and tough competitor for other girls boxing at my weight category.”
GYMPRO - ANY WORDS OF INSPIRATION FOR YOUNG GIRLS LOOKING TO GET INTO KICKBOXING OR BOXING?
Ellie - “Kickboxing is a great form of martial arts. It teaches discipline, respect, fast thinking, self control, and improves your physical and mental wellbeing. Its a great sport to get into for girls simply because its not only good for self defence but it helps in so many other aspects of life. Girls dont need to be viewed as the weaker sex these days. We can prove that we are strong and powerful emotionally and physically. You would be amazed how many people view you differently once they know what sport you compete in. Why fall into the stereotypical girl that many put us females in? Contact sports for women are growing fast. Its far more popular today than ever before. Go and take your first class. Girls, I promise you will be hooked!
Watch and follow Ellie Harbinson in her quest for boxing greatness.
CHECK OUT ELLIE ON SOCIAL MEDIA