Double Olympic Gold medallist Nicola Adams has visited the North East to surprise a promising Middlesbrough talent, thanks to Henderson Insurance Brokers (HIBL) and the Middlesbrough & Teesside Philanthropic Foundation (MTPF).

Passionate amateur boxer, Sophie Haw, who trains at the East Middlesbrough Amateur Boxing Club, was given the opportunity of a lifetime to meet her idol at a corporate lunch to celebrate female talent, hosted by the Stockton-based insurance broker.

The opportunity arose when Sophie applied for funding through the MTPF. Emma Simkins, Branch Director of the Stockton office for HIBL and who sits on the panel of the MTPF, heard about Sophie’s story and organised and invited her to the event for the chance to meet her idol.

Sophie started her boxing career at the age of six, and six years later she is now the Tyne Tees and Wear champion.

Sophie said: “It was amazing meeting my idol Nicola Adams, she is such an inspiration, I was able to sit next to her at the table so I had the chance to ask her anything I wanted throughout the meal. My dream is to go on to box in the Olympics and represent our country and make my country proud, just like she has!”

Guests were also able to meet and speak with Nicola, who has been an inspirational figure in UK and World boxing.

HIBL, which now has 15 offices nationwide, with three positioned in the North East, invited over 100 guests to meet Nicola and have the opportunity to ask her as many questions as they would like after their two-course meal. Nicola spoke about several subjects such as, her diet when training, her strict training regime and also what she likes to do in her spare time.

Emma Simkins added: “It was a fantastic day and we have had a great response from our guests. Nicola was very interesting and I do hope Sophie managed to get some tips from her. Annual events such as these are very important to the company and with this year being our 30th Anniversary it was extra special.”