Jamie Arthur

Jamie Arthur

The Commonwealth gold winning boxer talks about the importance of being strong mentally.

Raise Your Game: How did you get started?

Jamie Arthur: I was short, ginger, Scottish and always bullied! I was an easy target for the bullies and I went into boxing to defend myself. There was a gym behind my junior school and I watched people skipping and punching. It looked very scary.

Profile

Name:
Jamie Arthur

Born:
17 December 1979

From:
Cwmbran, Wales

Sport:
Boxing

Achievements:

  • Gold medalist (lightweight), Commonwealth Games, Manchester (2002) - The first Welshman to achieve that feat since Merthyr-great Howard Winstone in 1958.
  • Set up an amatuer boxing gym in Newport, Wales (2006).
  • Won the British Welsh Area Super Featherweight title, Newport, Wales (12 July 2008).

The boxers were daunting men, sweating and punching, and it was hard for a small kid seeing this to ask to join. I was picked on so much that I had to try something. I started training and, after about six weeks, Chris Manley, the trainer, told me I had talent and he gave me the confidence to go on. He put a lot of hard work into me and I am so grateful for that.

RYG: Did boxing help you?

JA: Boxing is a great sport to give you confidence. It helps your fitness and your reactions. Also, as I got better, I had to learn to speak at public occasions and improve my communication skills.

I also did a diploma in personal training and I go to schools and encourage pupils to see the benefits of sport, especially boxing. I want to give something back, and this is a real way that I can show the importance of training and development.

RYG: How hard is it to stay focused?

JA: The training in the gym is very hard and you have to concentrate. Mentally you have to be very strong. You are shouted at and pushed to the limits, but it makes you mentally much stronger. And, of course, physically it's pretty tough too!

You have to enjoy what you're doing and keep a steady focus. I have learnt to break things down into small chunks to work towards my goals.

RYG: How do you deal with the tough times?

JA: You are criticised by commentators and the public always see any flaws. You learn to take a little in, but don't take it all to heart. You know what you want to be. Take the good things and get better from them.

Of course, when you're up on the pedestal and successful there is a lot of pressure, but if you fall, you have to get back up! You have to have a goal and never lose sight of it.


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