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Islington BC juniors proved they are quick on their feet as they retained the Boxing Club Challenge Trophy in the annual national cross-country event at Upminster.

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The team of 15 youngsters swapped boxing gloves for running shoes at Sunday’s challenge event, hosted by Essex Boys and Girls Club, and piled up a total of nine medals.

Ben Turner, the Hazellville Road club’s junior captain, won gold in the Essex and national individual Under-17 race and teamed up with Marlon Kizito and Safi Abdullah to take the honours in the team event.

Kizito won a silver medal in the Essex and national race, while Abdullah took bronze in the individual Essex race and Lucy Turner claimed a gold medal in the Under-11 girls’ Essex run.

Jack Boylan won the silver medal in the boys’ race, while Kaarlo Wicks took gold in the Under-13 boys’ Essex individual race and silver in the national event.

Wicks also made up one third of the Islington team that secured a gold medal in the Essex and national team race, along with Tommy Kerrigan and Ernie Swinhoe.

Nehemiah Thomas, Christy McCarthy, Jack Sinnott, Paddy McCarthy, Christopher Ward, Kian Wicks, David Katzarov and Darren Ward also featured in the Islington team.

Reggie Hagland, a member of Islington’s management committee, said: “We won a lot more individual medals and team-based races than we did last year.

“They all gave a good account of themselves – most of the participants in the races were from running clubs.”

n Islington BC have 15 bouts scheduled for a bumper show to mark their 40th anniversary on Thursday night at the Boston Dome, Tufnell Park.

National novices quarter-finalist Jeff Ofori will be in action, along with several other senior boxers – Rachel Holifield, Mohammed Ali, Asad Mushtaq, Jordan Prince, Mateusz Szczepkowski and Carlos Moreno.

Eight of the Hazellville Road club’s juniors will also be appearing in the ring – Darren Ward, Tommy Kerrigan, Christy McCarthy, Alfie Andrews, Jack Sinnott, Malachi Borrell, Nehemiah Thomas and Paddy McCarthy.

Doors open at 7pm, with boxing due to get under way an hour later, and tickets are still available on the door.

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