BOXING: PROMISING Clearys youngster Morgan Ansell has set competing at the 2024 Olympic Games in either Los Angeles or Paris as her main aim following a successful 2016/17 campaign.
Inspired by the heroic efforts of Nicola Adams at the London 2012 games, Ansell first started boxing at the age of 11.
But she admits she instantly felt part of the Clearys team despite entering a cauldron of heavyweight talent, managed by dedicated and supportive head coach Edwin Cleary.
With a bout coming up at the end of the month, Morgan is currently in the gym twice a day – working on cardio, strength and conditioning, and sparring.
Speaking to The Observer, the Rugby High student said she believes she’s on the right tracks to success, and added reaching the Olympics in 2024 is a realistic goal.
She said: “Right now I’d like to think I’m on the right track to achieve my goal.
“Nicola Adams’ performance in London really inspired me and it made me want to be like her.”
But the 16-year-old, who last week completed the last of her 27 exams, not only has high ambitions inside the ring, but outside as well.
After just completing her 27th and final exam at school, Morgan is combining brains with power and plans to continue her studies at Cambridge University in the future.
She said: “I’m pleased with how my exams went.
“I’ll train before school and after – working hard in the gym and at Clearys.
“I have a bout coming up at the end of month though I’m yet to find out my opposition for that fight.
“So far I’ve won two national titles and recently had my first international bout where I earned bronze.
“I had to work hard for that, especially hard as my first fight got cancelled when I peaked so when I eventually fought I was on the come down.
“I still managed to win but there was plenty of hard work involved.”
Ansell is determined to not allow her academic and career ambitions to get in the way of her boxing though and admitted boxing will always be a part of her life.
She said: “When I first came to Clearys I was the only girl but I settled in really well and I’m now part of the team.
“Nationally it’s great to see so many girls coming through.
“When I started training at the Team GB camps they would be ten of us. Now there’s at least 50 training, and all at different weight categories.
“That positive curve applies to the Olympics as well where they’re introducing more weights at Olympics level.”
Part of Morgan’s success can be put down to the dedication of coach Edwin Cleary.
Cleary, who just two weeks ago helped secure Napton-based fighter Michael Cole a bout with Conor Benn at the 02 Arena, supports his fighters all the way and ensures safety and fun is made paramount.
Ansell added: “Edwin is an amazing coach. He’s 100 per cent supportive and ensures everyone is prepared before their fights.
“He rings and asks how things are before and travels across the country to support us, he certainly knows his stuff.”