Knowledge is power for champion boxing student
A University of Salford student is boxing clever as he juggles coursework with training in the ring.
Danny Wright, from Failsworth, studies Sports Science during the day – then uses what he has learned to help him defeat his opponents when he puts on the gloves in the evening.
The 19-year-old had a taste of victory last weekend when he won the England Boxing Elite Senior Championships at Liverpool’s Echo Arena after defeating seven other fighters throughout the championships.
Previous contestants to have won the event in Danny’s light welterweight category include Hyde world champion Ricky Hatton.
The dedicated former Oldham Sixth Form pupil, who has boxed since he was nine, says a typical day involves running early in the morning, studying in the classroom during the day, and training in the evening at a gym in Middleton.
Danny, who fights with Tyldesley-based Centurions Boxing Club, will now go on to represent England in the GB championships at the end of the month before deciding where to go to next in the sport, but says he has no intention of giving up his studies.
He said: “I’ve always been interested in sport, but studying the science behind it at this level has definitely made a big difference in what I do. It’s helped me understand nutrition, and how to rest properly, and I’ve become a lot fitter since I started here.
“I learn about the science at university, and then put what I’ve learned into practice when I train. It takes some time management, but with the way the course is set up I’ve been able to fit my training around my studies.”
Other boxers studying on the University’s Sports Science programme include second year student and former World Championship Bronze winner Crystal Barker, who is a member of the women’s GB squad, while third year student Lee Whitehead is the club coach for Bridgewater Salford Amateur Boxing Club.
And paralympic swimmer Hannah Russell, aged 19, who is also a first year sports science student, will represent Team GB at Rio.
Helen Matthews, Sports Science programme leader, said: “Our programme is very practical and a lot of very serious athletes who study with us find they can take things from their lectures and apply it to themselves.
“Whether they’re learning about sports psychology, performance analysis, or training techniques, those students who are involved in elite sports often find that what they learn here has an extra resonance for them.”