It made me think about the women who supported me when I was fighting – and who inspired me to keep going and now support other women.
- Lisa Houghton Smith from Bad Company gym in England used to train sometimes at Jittis; my head still remembers an instructive boxing-only sparring session. And we cornered together for a Thai woman Boon-Term Kitmuti who had her first fight totally against her husband’s wishes in Rangsit stadium – you can see clips in this National Geographic doco.
- Melissa from the Jungle Gym down on Koh Phangan was another inspiration. That gym now seems to be closed, but she had been the first female fighter to train at Jittis – really opened the path for me.
- Cat Bennet from England lived and trained for years in Bangkok. We bonded over our bruises and injuries and are still mates today. That links takes you to one of the few videos around from that time, shot at Loy Kratong festival fights.
We all worked together, even though for the most part the only women I met were my opponents! But the few women I met were such an inspiration. That’s why we need to get more attention shining on athletes because they can be great role models.
When I went windsurfing a few weeks ago there was a German family doing it too, the woman/ mother was maybe in her late 50s. By the 2nd day she was carrying a shiny black eye having walloped herself with the mast somehow but it didn’t put her off. Her 20-something daughter was just so proud.