Charley Davison: “I Had To Be The Mum And Be The Boxer As Well.”
By Ella Fenwick
After seven years, flyweight boxer and mum of three Charley Davison dusted off her boxing gloves and entered the ring once again with one thing on her mind. Her spot on the Olympic team.
Throwing herself back into the swing of fighting again, Davison bounced back with her natural talent, shortly winning a national title and finding herself back training on Team GB:
“I won the national title and that is how I got back onto the GB squad, I got down in weight to 51 kilos. It has always been my big dream to be an Olympian, to go to the Olympics and win a medal at the Olympics.”
It wasn’t long before Davison saw her dreams turn into a reality when the first set of qualifying bouts soon came around in March last year. Davison secured her first qualifying win against Ireland. With Davison’s final bout on the horizon she was one step closer and it seemed like nothing could stand in the way of her and her end goal.
Yet the pandemic had other plans. A halt in the sporting world and the cancellation of the Olympics added to Davison’s plate, would leave her another year away from her goal.
Admittedly Davison said at the time she found herself disheartened by the uncertainty of the future of her training and being away from her three children:
“It was another year training and away from the children and not being able to take them to school. Also waking up in the morning with them, being around them every day, doing homework with them just the little things.”
The announcement of the first national lockdown in March however shifted it all into perspective, Davison said:
“Obviously, I had the children at home, so I had to be the mum and be the boxer as well.”
A challenge Davison hadn’t turned down before as she went on to prove her sheer determination that nothing would tamper with her drive in this boxing journey. Continuing her Team GB program wasn’t exactly in the format she had expected but when receiving equipment to her home, Davison soon realised she had the best of both worlds.
Spending quality time with her three children in different school work activities and in the evenings, while slotting in daily bag sessions on Zoom and runs in the morning. Davison made the juggle of training and childcare look easy as she talked through her busy schedule:
“I would do my runs first thing in the morning while the children were still asleep. I would come back and then sometimes my partner would be starting schoolwork, so I would probably come back and do a bit with them as well. Then I would do my Zoom call bag session in the afternoon. By the time he had gone to work, I was then able to if I needed to, do the kids school work and as he would have prepared their tea. It was a lot of support, you need that. You need to work together.”
Davison continued to thrive over the further two lockdowns but stated she couldn’t have done it without the endless support from her partner:
“I always like saying how good my partner is with the children, but he supports me so much with the boxing. His outlook is he wants me to do the best I can, so he is always there no matter what. I had a lot of help to be honest and I am very grateful and thankful for that, there is a lot of people in my position that wouldn’t have had the help I had.”
In line with the recent re-evaluation of COVID-19 restrictions, Davison has been able to return to the training camps for four days a week in Sheffield. Ready for her qualifying bout against Poland in April behind closed doors that will hopefully get the go ahead soon:
“It is a lot easier to stay focused now because I am in routine and obviously the children are being looked after at home by their Dad. It has worked out a lot better because I can now fully concentrate on training up there and then come back to give all my attention to the children.”
Despite everything thrown her way, Davison hasn’t allowed her goal to slip away and remains strong minded about bringing a winning performance to the ring that will chance her that spot in the Olympics:
“Every time I go for a run, in my head I vision that Olympic qualifying bout. I only have one more bout to qualify so every time I train, I think I have got to push myself an extra bit more for that and leave nothing behind so when I get in that ring I know for 110% I put everything into it.”
Davison has continuously made leaps and bounds in her boxing career and never fell short from what she wanted to achieve and advised others who were new to their boxing journey:
“Work hard, train hard. Keep motivated. Push yourself in everything you do and just listen to your coaches. They are there, just listen to them and take everything they voice on board.”
Putting all her current focus and energy into training for her dream, Davison admits she hasn’t really looked any further ahead for what next in her career but said she will continue down her boxing path and who knows going professional may be on the cards.
“Seeing all these other girls that have turned pro and with the pro game for the girls getting bigger, we will see how far and how well I do after my final qualifying bout in April and I think I will go from there.”