Women inspired by Storm's boxing title for Spire Academy

A thriving academy in Chesterfield is sure that a magnificent win for one of its up-and-coming female stars will help fuel a boom in women's boxing.

Monday, 16th July 2018, 5:23 pm
Updated Monday, 16th July 2018, 5:44 pm
Storm Steele, of the Spire Boxing Academy, shows off her belt after winning the East Midlands middleweight title.

Storm Steele, who is 22, lived up to her name by storming to victory in a bout for the East Midlands women’s middleweight title at Newark.

Steele beat Jade Grierson, of Newark, on a split decision in the three-round fight. And considering she took up boxing from scratch only two years ago, her success was regarded as a superb achievement by her coaches at the Spire Boxing Academy.

Lauren Sivyer, who is the secretary at Spire and daughter of head coach Robbie Sivyer, believes the triumph will encourage more and more women to have the confidence to take up the sport.

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“Storm has been brilliant,” said Lauren. “It was only the seventh bout of Storm’s career, and she had only one week to train for it, so it says a lot for her.

“To have the nerve to get up and do that takes some doing.

“It’s easily the best thing she has achieved in boxing, and for the academy, it is our first major amateur title. Leon Glover did hold an East Midlands heavyweight title, but he then lost it.

“Spire was formed 12 years ago and is still a massive success. We are taking on people every day, not just keen boxers but also people who want to keep fit.

“However, our women-only sessions have been unbelievably popular. Women who were not even confident enough to spar are now starting to come to the sessions and get into the ring.

“We now get between 20 and 25 women at the academy every Monday and Thursday, and Storm’s success can only make them feel even more comfortable. It shows how far she has come.”

Steele, who lives in Chesterfield, is trained by Robbie, an ex-professional fighter who founded the academy, which is based on Thompson Street in Chesterfield.

As well as boxing, it offers one-to-one personal training and fitness training and now boasts 130 members, who include about 20 amateur boxers.

“This is not just your average boxing gym,” said Robbie. “Since we opened back in the summer of 2006, we have changed the lives of hundreds of people, young and older, in the Chesterfield area.

“We offer services for all levels and abilities to suit a person’s individual needs.”

The boxing campaign has now entered its close season, but it won’t be long before Spire’s battalion of fighters will be in training for the 2018/19 term, which begins in September and October.

They will include Steele, who took her title when it was vacant but will now have to defend it against an opponent yet to be named.

Spire is also confident that more of its promising boxers will be able to follow in her footsteps and challenge for other important titles as the season progresses.