Belles in the ring

Boxing buddies: Arlene Blencowe and Shelly Watts are helping each other reach their sporting goals.
Boxing buddies: Arlene Blencowe and Shelly Watts are helping each other reach their sporting goals.

Shelley Watts and friend Arlene Blencowe have been selected in the NSW Boxing Team to compete at the Australian Boxing Championship. The girls from Laurieton, who are also housemates are excited about the prospect of representative honours. Arlene has been the driving force behind their involvement with the sport.

“She has been passionate about boxing since she was 13 and has always wanted to go further,” said Shelley. “Originally I started training with her just to help her out, but now we’re both really keen.”

Arlene had her first amateur fight in March 2010. Since her first fight, she has won the PCYC State Title 2010, the NSW State Title 2010 and the “Silver Gloves” at the Australian Golden Gloves Championships. In that tournament Arlene stepped up a weight division and fought a girl 4kgs heavier than herself. She also competed in the City versus Country title held in Tamworth and the NSW versus QLD State of Origin clash in Queensland. Arlene, 27, is a working mother of two children. Shelley is 23 and is in her 5th year of study for an undergraduate bachelor degree at Southern Cross University.

“I have decided to complete my final year of study externally so I can concentrate on my training and my fights,” Shelley said.

In her first year of boxing she won the PCYC State Title, Central West NSW belt for the 64kg division, NSW State Title and competed in the City versus Country titles in Tamworth. The pair don’t have a trainer at the moment so they train together and motivate each other. Training consists of two to three training sessions per day; a morning session at 5.30am, a session during Arlene’s lunch break and a night session after dinner at about 8.30pm.

The Australian Championships will be held at the Reggio Calabria Club in Melbourne from March 3-6. Arlene will compete in the 64kg division. This is the third different weight division she has competed in and naturally she has her sights set on a win. Shelley will compete in the Under 60kg division.