Cancer Research UK employee Laura Blackwell’s UWCB journey! – Ultra White Collar Boxing

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Cancer Research UK employee Laura Blackwell’s UWCB journey!

I started working for Ultra Events in 2015 and in 2016 I joined Cancer Research UK. My role involves supporting Ultra’s amazing participants in their fundraising efforts and doing everything I can to help them smash their fundraising goals. I am on hand to offer support and answer any fundraising questions participants may have throughout the whole 8-week journey via Facebook, email and phone.

I loved the idea of taking part in an event, but I never thought I’d pluck up the courage to actually do it. I constantly encouraged people across the UK do to something amazing yet having not done it myself felt hypocritical.

In the summer of 2018, my amazing auntie and childhood best friend was diagnosed with an aggressive brain tumour at just 54. This is what pushed me to face my fears and sign up to the next UWCB event in Derby on April 6th 2019.

“The fight I would face would be nothing compared to what my auntie was going through.”

On Tuesday 5th February I attended a registration meeting to mark the beginning of my journey. At the meeting we learnt about what the experience would be like, when training would be and the requirements for taking part. The meeting made it feel very real and I wondered if I had gone completely crazy! I was nervous and excited, and I left the meeting feeling motivated, excited and reassured.

The following Monday it was time to start the 8 weeks of free training provided by UWCB. I’d never set foot in a boxing gym before and One Nation Boxing Club in Derby was like no gym I’d ever been to. It was a bit daunting at first, but it soon became like a second home, I fell in love with the sport and I couldn’t keep away. The trainers Clifton, Mikey and Latty were knowledgeable, supportive and encouraging at every session. The training was tough but brilliant, I lost weight, felt fitter than I had in years and it improved my mental health. 12 months on I still train at the gym when I can, sometimes taking my 5-year-old daughter along too, with trainers I now consider friends.

The eight weeks flew by and before you knew it, I was at the match up evening at a local bar where I found out who my opponent was. There was a lot of excitement in the air, we had a professional photographer and an MC there who called out all the match ups.

“Once I knew who my opponent was, I was raring to go for the main event.”

On the morning of the event I arrived at the roundhouse in the early afternoon for my prefight medical. It was surreal to see the venue empty and set up ready for my friends and family to arrive.

Fight night will go down as one of the best experiences of my life. It was terrifying but getting into the ring in front of 1500 people including all my family and friends was exhilarating.

I was not prepared for quite how proud my friends and family would be after the fight. My friends were completely in awe of me, my dad cried, and my phone didn’t stop ringing for 48 hours afterwards. I felt like a real-life celebrity.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I lived, breathed and LOVED the whole UWCB experience and raised £2,500 for Cancer Research UK in the process.

Sadly, in July 2019 just 3 months after my fight my auntie lost her battle. I will continue to fundraise for Cancer Research UK until we eventually win the big fight against cancer.

If you are thinking about signing up, don’t think about it just click here and do it! It will be the best thing you have ever done.

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