PD Ports is backing a national champion boxer who is fighting for a place to compete at a future Olympic Games by sponsoring her for five years.
Macy Kilkenny now trains regularly with the GB boxing team at its base in Sheffield as part of its development squad which nurtures future medal-winning talent and has already represented England.
The determined 16-year- old, whose dad Jason is a training instructor at PD Ports’ ferry terminal at Teesport, has been given £10,000, spread out over five years, to help pay for her international travel, specialist support and kit costs.
“She is driven and she’s very competitive but she also works incredibly hard at the technique,” said Jason, a former boxer himself, who is proud that his younger daughters, Jocelyn, 10, and Eden, seven, are following in their big sister’s footsteps.
“We are very grateful to receive this funding as it means we can really plan ahead, she never asks for anything but now we can buy her what she needs to help fulfil her ambition.”
As well as training six days a week at East Middlesbrough ABC Boxing Club Macy from Middlesbrough also juggles college and a Saturday job along with spending time with her friends.
“What this sponsorship means is that I am guaranteed to be able to go to different competitions so I can focus my training with them in mind,” she explained.
Macy has fought hard to achieve success in and out of the boxing ring, she suffers from asthma and surpassed academic expectations at school, leaving with 11 GCSEs and now is working towards becoming a sports therapist.
“What I love most about boxing is the feeling of achievement, the nerves are excited nerves,” said the winner of the junior ABA title and CYP championship. “I also enjoy travelling to different places and meeting new people, it’s all part of the experience.”
“It has been hard fitting everything in but boxing helped take my mind off my exams and it keeps me on my toes.”
Mr Kilkenny had initially approached PD Ports for a nominal donation as part of its staff support scheme. The business co-founded the High Tide Foundation in 2012, a charity which aims to raise young people’s aspirations across Teesside, and Macy’s determination and self-belief will be used to help inspire other teenagers in the area.
Kirsten Donkin, PD Ports’ PR and Communications Manager, said: “Continuous engagement with young people across Teesside is incredibly important to our business. As one of Teesside’s largest employers we believe we have an important role to play in promoting Teesport and the wider industrial landscape that together can create life changing employment opportunities.
“Macy is a great role model for other young people in the region. Her attitude and commitment complements our core values at PD Ports and we are looking forward to being part of her inspirational journey.”