British boxing champion Hannah Beharry visits students in Wembley

Hannah Beharry with Year 11 pupils at Copland Community School

Hannah Beharry with Year 11 pupils at Copland Community School - Credit: Archant

A UK British boxing champion told to go home and learn to “be a proper female” has inspired Wembley youngsters never to give up on their dreams.

Hannah Beharry visited Copland Community School in Cecil Avenue, today as part of the Sky Live for Sport initiative for whom she’s a mentor.

The nine times British champion and twice European medal winner is one of the first females to fight for England and Great Britain after only fighting a couple of fights.

“Ten years ago I was a young person with a lot of energy,” said the 27 year-old. “One day someone said to me have you ever thought of taking up boxing so I went down to the gym.”

It was a brief conversation at a gym in Brent that was to alter the course of her life.

“The coach, what he said to me, made me want to do it,” she continued. “He basically said to me “females never box a day in their lives, go home and be a proper female, learn to cook and clean”.

“When he said that to me, I was kind of inspired and that was it, I was to change his opinion and go and box. That’s how I got started and never looked back.”

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Miss Beharry talked about her journey to Year 11 pupils, inspiring them to work hard, focus on their gcses “and don’t look back”..

She said: “I see young people they don’t really believe in themselves, they don’t believe they can achieve great things and I have an opportunity to go back and tell them what I’ve done.

“When you see their little eyes shine you think yeah, this is why I want to do this.

Don’t give up on your dreams, there’ll be people saying you can’t do this, you can’t do that. Listen to people who support you.”

Copland football coach Paul Lawrence said: “We’ve asked her to come back next month when we’ll try to roll it out to other year groups as well as she was so successful, she inspired them all.”

Sky’s Live for Sport initiative brings world class athletes into secondary schools who mentor children between 12 and 16 to increase their confidence and build their life skills.