Commonwealth gold medal winner returns to inspire next generation at Islington Boxing Club
- Credit: Archant
Commonwealth gold medallist Courtney Fry returned to his roots on Sunday to hand over the cup that bears his name at Islington BC’s annual awards.
Fry, who was Islington’s last senior ABA champion in 1996 before going on to win Commonwealth honours in Kuala Lumpur, travelled from Liverpool to speak at the Hazellville Road gym.
He also presented the Courtney Fry Cup for best newcomer of the year to Lamin Conteh, who won five of his six contests in his debut season, including an excellent victory over an experienced German opponent at Islington’s dinner show in May.
More than 120 members attended the awards, which followed a barbecue cooked by club coach John ‘JR’ Richards, and brought the season to a close.
There were several other Islington BC award winners:
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Ron Hagland Cup for best club member of the year: presented by the club’s honorary secretary, whose name the trophy bears, to Islington’s senior captain Jeff Ofori.
Ofori won North West London and London development titles for the second year running before reaching the national semi-finals and went on to enter the elite championships for the first time, losing out in the London semi-finals.
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Terry Emberson Shield for most improved senior boxer: presented by the club’s honorary vice-president Bert Busby to heavyweight Mateusz Szcepkowski.
Szcepkowski competed six times for Islington this season, winning three and missing out on two unlucky split decisions. He is pencilled in to enter the development championships in the autumn.
Dony Spiro Trophy for most improved junior boxer: presented by management committee member Dony Spiro to Tommy ‘The Tank’ Kerrigan.
Kerrigan trained hard last season to improve his skill level and was denied a national schools title through no fault of his own after his opponent in the final pulled out due to sickness.
Tom Doherty Snr Memorial Trophy for most dedicated senior boxer: presented by events manager Mick Doherty to Valerian Spicer.
Spicer gave up her full-time job to pursue her dream of representing Dominica at the Olympics and has performed well at several international tournaments, including a silver medal success at the Nations Cup in Serbia.
Gerard Smith Shield for most dedicated junior boxer: presented to Callum Angel-Taylor.
Angel-Taylor competed eight times in his debut season, winning five and ended the campaign on a high with a gold medal at the Monkstown Box Cup in Dublin.
Brian Regan Memorial Shield for best senior boxer: presented to Scott Smart.
Smart triumphed in his third attempt at the national development championships, winning the Class A Under-52kg title – and will be aiming for a repeat performance when he steps up to Class B next season.
Colin Webster Shield for best junior boxer: presented to Caroline Dubois.
Dubois extended her unbeaten run to eight fights, winning a second successive Monkstown Cup gold medal, and became Islington’s first national schools champion in 20 years.
The Ivan Bersch Memorial Trophy’ for most consistent boxer: presented by kit sponsors Geo F Trumper to Natasha ‘Nutty’ Rhoden.
Rhoden won six times and lost just once, competing for an all-female London team and taking a gold medal at the Golden Girls Box Cup in Sweden. She also earns a £250 grant from Geo F Trumper, to be spent on boxing equipment.
The A&R Club award for best overall club boxer of the year: presented to Sherif ‘The Sandman’ Musah.
Musah moved down to light-heavyweight and won all six of his fights to take the title at the national development championships. He will compete at heavyweight next season, his first as an elite boxer.