Centre's visit from boxing champ a knock out!
- Credit: NHESC
A boxing champion visited a Hitchin education centre to share her story and encourage students to pursue their dreams.
WBA Women's Bantamweight World Champion boxer Shannon Courtenay met students at the North Herts Education Support Centre - based in Bancroft, Hitchin.
Growing up in Watford, Shannon relayed her experiences to the young people at Hitchin's NHESC - sharing that she had found herself in similar positions to theirs in her formative years.
The education centre is a pupil referral unit that works with permanently excluded students and those at serious risk of permanent exclusion across North Herts.
Shannon explained that she ended up in an education support centre, much like the one in Bancroft, and never felt like anyone cared about her future. At 21, she found a love for boxing, ditched all the bad influences in her life and six years later - after a lot of hard work - became the WBA Bantamweight World Champion.
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Shannon's visit aimed to encourage students to work towards their dreams and goals, change their mindsets and to be the best that they can be.
Scott de la Fuente, Shannon's main sponsor, also spoke to the students about how his company, LA Metal Works in Hatfield, is proud to sponsor Shannon as she has an "amazing work ethic" and a desire to succeed.
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After Shannon's visit, several students tracked her down on Instagram to tell her that she had already made a difference to them and that they were going to try to change their lives.
Sixteen-year-old Princess said: "Shannon has made me feel like I want to quit smoking today and get back into the gym to do boxing."
Another student said they "now feel really motivated to do something with [their] life" after Shannon's visit.
Shannon said: "It was great to visit the students of NHESC at Bancroft. I could see a version of a younger me in all of them and I was once in the same position they're in now, so it was great to be able to show them that with hard work and dedication you can achieve anything!
"Some of the pupils have reached out to me since on social media, which is great. I'm looking forward to seeing them all again."