A BOXER from Whitnash who struck gold at the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games hopes his win will inspire a future sporting generation.
Lewis Williams was speaking at a celebratory event held at Jephson Gardens in Leamington to mark his gold medal winning triumph in the boxing ring during the Games this summer.
The 23-year-old heavyweight boxer already has a number of titles under his belt and names local Leamington boxers, the Turpin brothers. as his own boxing inspiration.
Lewis began boxing at the age of nine when he convinced his dad to allow him to swap the Scouts for sessions at local boxing gym, Cleary’s Gym, and he soon realised boxing was more than just a hobby.
He said at the event held at The Riverside Glasshouse that he had been blown away by the level of local support he had received since winning his gold medal.
“It’s crazy, going around shops now and everyone’s recognising me because I’ve been on the TV, and people have been at the Pump Rooms or Warwick town centre watching the fights, or at home, or they’ve gone to the NEC to watch it live.
“It was shocking, how many people are well into the boxing, even though we come from boxing history in Leamington. And of course, the big crowd that’s come here today.
“I’ve had great support in the build up to it (the Commonwealth Games) but it was afterwards that I’ve got this huge support – everyone was blowing up my phone, messaging me. The turnout tonight has been way bigger than I thought it would have been.”
And Lewis hopes that his gold medal win will inspire local children and young people to get into sports like boxing.
“I think it really pushes people in the right direction, I haven’t had time to do anything wrong. All I’ve done is trained and at Cleary’s gym and any of the other gyms I’ve trained at, you’re surrounded by positive people, positive role models.
“You’re looking up to other people that are boxing in the gym. You think, you know, I want to do that. I want to be winning those sorts of fights and titles. So I was constantly chasing goals from a young age, and then, of course, that’s just positivity, to grow and focus on your goals. Now here we are with this nice shiny medal.”
Lewis said it was very important for young people to look for role models who will point them in the right direction, especially if they also encourage improving fitness and, in turn, mental health.
“Your mental health is going to be really good alongside that, if you’re actually using your body rather than sitting at home and overthinking everything. If you’re using your time wisely and keeping your body healthy, everything else follows. So get the right inspiration and the right guidance from the right people. They’re about – you’ve just got to be confident enough to ask for it and you’ll find them.”
Looking ahead, Lewis has plenty of ambitions for the future.
He said: “My next goal is to qualify for the Olympics, then take the gold there. And after that, I’ll turn professional and be chasing my goals there, so this is only just the start.”