Star of the Month - November 2018

Star of the Month - Bill Carne and Nia Smith


Star of the Month - Bill Carne and Nia Smith



Nia ‘s a Welsh champ – in Women’s Boxing! is firmly of the view that females are more and more able to cope with the demands of a range of sports once denied them and in amateur boxing there is no better local representative of that fact than Nia Smith – and that is why she is the deserved recipient of our ‘Star of the Month’ award for November 2018.


14 year old Nia trains immensely hard at Merlins Bridge Amateur Boxing Club under the protective guidance of Graham Brockway and the reward for her has to become Welsh champion in her age group and already looking forward to taking her chance in the UK finals later on this year.


Already a natural trainer for younger boxers


And not only does Nia set an example with her own training regimes but is already staking a claim to becoming a natural coach of junior boxes, as evidenced by our trip to the club to talk to her and Mr Brockway and when he was telling us about the example she sets she just took over the session which was attended by aspiring 10 to 12 year olds, without any instructions to do it, and they all followed her instructions without demur.


“She is a very good boxer in her own right,” coach Brockway told us, “but just look at the way the nippers listen to her there - she’s a natural.”


Total support at Merlins Bridge and at home


The respect is mutual and Nia listens to every word given by her boxing mentor. For example, when she marginally failed to complete one routine she was treated like all the fellers and had to complete ten press-ups as her ‘reward’!


She is also supported totally by Ian and her mum Kate, who Nia says is an amazing taxi driver because she also loves attending Saturday morning sessions as well - and both have total faith in Graham Brockway’s work at the club.


Always looks forward . . .


Nia originally asked dad Ian (who is now an assistant trainer at the club) to let her train for her rugby but straight away loved the training regimes so it wasn't long before she wanted to take up the sport in earnest; attending almost every night of the week.


At first Nia only had boys to spar against but she has coped well against younger boxers than she is, even when she had a bit of a bloodied nose, as most prospective boxers do, but she just went back the next evening as ready to be involved again as usual.


. . . And not put off by debut defeat!


It is typical of her determination that although she narrowly lost her first bout against Kia Morris of Briton Ferry ABC at Neath Workingmen’s Club but it just made her all the more determined and the very next evening she was back in the gym!


Nia’s dedication has paid off because in her next bout she stopped her opponent, as she did when she went to the Welsh semi-finals to earn a bout against Jasmine Smith in the final in Llantrisant, where she admits to being nervous but after sizing up her opponent in the first round won again on a stoppage.


This earned her a coveted Welsh vest, which is now proudly displayed in a frame at home and now her travel commitment is even greater because she has been chosen for twice-monthly training sessions with the Welsh Development Squad in Cardiff.


It is good to report that all her work in boxing is very carefully monitored and has clearly given her self-confidence and respect for others – and we are very pleased to recognise what Nia Smith has done with the example she sets in amateur boxing at Merlins Bridge ABC!