British boxing prodigy Amber Moss-Birch laid bare her experience rubbing shoulders with Team England’s Commonwealth Games stars.
The 22nd Commonwealth Games are taking place in Birmingham, with more than 5,000 athletes representing 72 nations and territories, all competing for gold throughout the 11-day event.
As the biggest UK-based multi-sport event since the Glasgow Commonwealth Games in 2014, Birmingham 2022 is seeking to inspire a future generation of athletes.
Moss-Birch has not only been inspired by the Games, but has also had an opportunity to pick the brains of some of its brightest athletes.
YOUTH EUROS RESULT 🥊
Female Under 75kg – Amber Moss-Birch (England and Golden Ring) 🏴 beat Yelis Ilyazova (Bulgaria) 🇧🇬 by a RSC 👊
Congratulations, Amber! 👏 pic.twitter.com/7w9ujFz5H1
— England Boxing (@England_Boxing) April 18, 2022
“Of the GB set-up in Sheffield who are [competing in the Commonwealth Games] I was speaking with the likes of Gemma Richardson and Sameenah Toussaint,” said the 16-year-old, who is a member of Aldi’s Rising Stars, a program that supports 20 young athletes by providing a financial award to help with training and competition costs , while also delivering personal development opportunities to many athletes through workshop sessions.
“A few years ago, before lockdown they were in the position where I am now, so hopefully in a few years’ time I will be where they are now.
“Up in Sheffield [at the Team GB training camp] we were all watching the boxing together. It was good to watch with coaches and with the other athletes as a team.
“[While watching] we’re all bouncing off each other and when we’ve then got our sessions or got sparring coming up, we use what we’ve just seen and try new things out.”
Each year, athletes are nominated to SportsAid by the national governing bodies of more than 60 sports, based on set criteria.
The Rising Stars athletes will be receiving financial support through Aldi as well as a monthly food voucher, to fuel them through training, competitions and to future Olympic and Paralympic Games.
Moss-Birch, who in 2019 was crowned European Champion in Tbilisi, Georgia, cited London southpaw Caroline Dubois and 2014 Commonwealth Games champion Lauren Price as major influences.
Both Dubois and Price have made their way into the pro circuit, with the former having stopped Tanzania’s Happy Daudi inside three rounds last week.
Moss-Birch, who was Dubois’ last spar before her bout with Daudi, said: “They’re making a career and it’s good to see.
“[Dubois] was just saying, because of my age I will get there. She was saying [I have] so much potential.
“I was asking questions about GB and about a career and the pro game. We were just bouncing off each other and could talk for hours and hours about boxing.
“And going into the gym with Shane McGuigan there, Josh Pritchard there, it was so friendly.”
Moss-Birch’s sights are currently set on qualifying for the World Youth Boxing Championships in Alicante, Spain.
However, in the long term, the Southampton-born prodigy is hoping to emulate her heroes Dubois and Price by boxing at an Olympic Games, before building a career in the pro ranks.
Moss-Birch said: “Making the World Youth Championships would be unreal. It would be the biggest event [I’ve competed in].
“Going from the domestic level and grassroots boxing over the past few years all the way up to international would feel great. The [events are] only getting bigger and bigger.
“But the goal is the LA 2028 Olympics, and after that I would start making a name for myself in the pro ranks. That would be a perfect career hopefully.”
Aldi is the Official Supermarket Partner of Team GB and ParalympicsGB and have partnered with Team GB since 2015, ParalympicsGB since 2022 and will be supporting them through to Paris 2024