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Twelve Rounds with wheelchair boxer, Jamie Kosack

Jamie Kosack - Adaptive Boxing

Jamie, from Llansamlet, Swansea, is taking the world of Adaptive Boxing by storm. Though he is near the beginning of an exciting journey, Jamie, 26, has already come a long way. Jamie has a type of motor neurone disease that increases loss of mobility affecting his movement and balance.

In his own honest and inspirational words that have already had a positive impact on many people through social media, he writes:

“I have been depressed and was for years but feel I have now found myself.”

Jamie has a son, Leon, who he credits as his “pride and joy” but Leon isn’t the only thing that has altered Jamie’s outlook on life. Jamie does something that he says people first thought he couldn’t do because of his rare condition. It is a passion that takes him all over the country and a passion that may take him much further in the future. This passion is boxing.

Mal Emerson, Manager at Jamie’s local Bulldogs Boxing Club, says: “Jamie’s just Jamie now. We refuse to see disability, we only see ability.” Jamie has also recently been named Member of the Year at Bulldogs.

We asked Jamie 12 questions about his boxing, his plans for the future, how he encourages others through his presence on social media and his mantra! “If I can do it, you can too.” 

When did you start boxing?

I started boxing just over a year ago and it’s the best thing I have done.

How did it come about?

I was inspired by my lifelong friend who I have grown up with, Nathan. He inspired me and I wanted to give it a go myself.

When was your first match?

I had my first match in the ring earlier this month (August 2019) in front of over 150 supporters, at Bulldogs Boxing Gym in Port Talbot, which is where I train twice a week.

Did you win?

Yes, the fight got stopped before the final bell with me landing some big shots to my training partner and opponent.

How did you feel and what did you learn from the fight?

I felt really nervous but as soon as I got in that ring and started fighting, I absolutely loved it, it was a dream come true.

I built more confidence from the fight and overcame a huge obstacle that I once thought would never happen. I can’t wait to go again.

When is the next one?

There hasn’t been a date set yet but hopefully early next year.

Can you remember the moment you thought “this is my passion”?

The first time I got in a ring it was a huge realisation for me that this is something I love and after my first one-to-one session on the pads I was hooked.

When did you start your social media presence and what were your thoughts around making your page and sharing your content?

My key worker Lloyd filmed me and made videos that we put on YouTube, then he helped me set up an Instagram and Facebook account. Since doing that I have realised that I am inspiring more people than I ever imagined. This wasn’t something that I believed at first, but I have received lots of messages and people contact me about how much I am inspiring them. I wasn’t sure at first doing all this, but it has been a massive positive for me to inspire people.

Your boxing has already taken you to many different places across England and Wales, could you tell me a little bit about your travels?

I got contacted by Adaptive Boxing which is a group of adaptive boxers in the UK to join them and I am now an ambassador for my group fight category. They found me through the hashtags I was using on Instagram and they were keen to reach out to me. I have been to London and across England to showcase my skills in front of the WBC (World Boxing Champions). This has been an amazing and nerve-racking experience and something I never thought I would be able to do. It was difficult at first, but my confidence is growing and the more I am doing it the more I am enjoying it.

What would you say to other people who might want to get into boxing?

JUST DO IT! You will love it. It’s a great experience!

How have Walsingham Support supported you on your journey?

I am close with my key worker and 1 or 2 of the other staff. They have supported me to get to the gym and help me with my nutrition outside of training.

They also helped me to set up my Instagram and Facebook account to help me build my confidence. It has since brought me loads of opportunities to experience and do new things with boxing. It has been such a positive impact on my life.

What are your plans for the future? I have read about calls for boxing to be included in the Paralympics, is that something you would like to aim for if that happens?

I am aiming to be a wheelchair pro boxer. I would love to be a part of the Paralympics if boxing was involved and I know that the Great Britain Adaptive Boxing Council (GBABC), which I am a part of, are trying to make that happen safely with the WBC involved.

Jamie Kosack, remember the name!

Follow Jamie on Facebook @jamiekosackboxing and read more on Jamie’s story as featured on BBC Wales.

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