A YOUNG woman who fought back to fitness following a car smash has now taken to the ring to train as a boxer in eight weeks.
Steph Edwards, 25, who works as an investment administrator for Wrexham-based wealth management firm Hadlow Edwards, is raising money for Cancer Research UK as part of a personal challenge to roll with the punches and set herself some new targets in her life.
Steph, who lives with her Mum Jackie, Dad Phil and has two older sisters, Sarah and Lisa, said: “I have never, ever been in a fight in my life.
“But I got it in my head that I wanted to learn to box because I knew it would be a major personal challenge and it was what I was looking for at the time.
“The very thought of it put me outside my comfort zone and at the beginning of this year, I was at a point in my life where I wanted to push my boundaries and really get out there and achieve some new goals in my life.”
In October last year, Steph was driving to work at the Regent Street offices of Hadlow Edwards when a tractor pulling a long steel cylinder trailer turned into a junction in front of her.
Steph ploughed into the trailer at 50 mph and sustained several broken bones including her hand, ribs and had to have stiches in her knee and treatment for a badly strained ankle. Her car was completely destroyed in the accident.
She said: “When you have something like that happen to you, it makes you want to get out there and make the most of all that life has to offer. It made me want to try some new things and boxing had always been at the back of my mind to try.
“I am quite a determined person and once I put my mind to something, I won’t change it.”
Steph’s fight will take place on September 11 and she is training via the UK-based organisation Ultra White Collar Boxing which commits its rookie boxers to raise money for Cancer Research UK. In return they are provided with extensive training in the eight weeks leading up to their fight when they are partnered up with a competitor of a similar weight and standard.
Steph attends two boxing training sessions a week, has endured punishing weight training in the gym six times a week and squeezes in a three-mile run and high intensity fitness training whenever she has a spare moment.
She said of her fight; “I think the thing that concerns me the most is the fact that I don’t know if I am competitive enough to give as good as I get. But I keep thinking, well what’s the worst that can happen. It’s all heavily regulated and not some back street fight which isn’t managed.
“I think my Mum is a bit worried about my face getting bashed around a bit and of course that I might get hurt. My Dad is used to being in a house of women because I have two older sisters so this is his chance to do something a bit more masculine with one of us and he has been helping me practice.”
She has also been spurred on to success by her commitment to raise money for Cancer Research UK.
Steph said: “I have had loved ones affected by cancer as so many people have. It is a disease which affects lots of families so being able to combine this personal goal with raising money for such an important charity is brilliant.”
Her colleagues at Hadlow Edwards have been impressed by her drive and commitment to her boxing training.
Dominic Richmond, Operations Director for Hadlow Edwards, said: “We are full of admiration for Steph’s determination to learn to box. It came at first as a bit of a surprise but we now see that she is applying herself to her boxing training in the same way she does to her work at Hadlow Edwards – with hard graft and determination.
“She is a very valued member of our team and we feel sure she will achieve her goal and pack a powerful punch! We wish her every success and best wishes for the fight itself and will be rooting for her to win.”
Steph is looking forward to support from family, friends and her colleagues at Hadlow Edwards for the actual event itself.
“I have quite a crowd coming to watch now for the fight itself and I think that will really help me on the day.”
To sponsor Steph go to her Just Giving page https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/uwcb-stephedwards1955256222