Team England call-up Demie-Jade Resztan to Commonwealth Games boxing squad
Demie-Jade Resztan is feeling on top of the world after securing her place in the Team England boxing squad for the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham.
Confirmation came through on Tuesday that the New Astley Boxing Club alumni was one of 14 fighters selected to represent the host nation, with bouts due to get under way on July 28.
And given that the 48kg boxer’s weight class is not part of the Olympic Games programme, the Commonwealths has long been Resztan’s number one goal.
She said: “It’s such an amazing opportunity. This has been my overall goal for such a long time because my weight isn’t in the Olympics.
“Being part of the Commonwealth squad is the next best thing and I’m really over the moon to have got a place. I’ve been so focused on it, but you never know if it will happen.
“You tell yourself you’re going to do it, you work hard to make sure you get there but until it’s confirmed you can’t be sure.
“It was such a good feeling to hear the news – all I remember thinking was ‘don’t cry, don’t cry!’ I can’t wait to get going.”
A serial winner of the National Championships under the guidance of Mark O’Reilly at New Astley, Resztan has gone on to collect medals across the globe at World and European Championships level.
And with a home crowd set to roar her on in England’s second city, the 25-year-old Cambridge fighter is confident of adding to her collection.
“I’m going for gold and I think that’s a realistic aim,” she added. “It all comes down to your performances on the day and how you channel the nerves.
“Nerves are natural but you’ve got to use them the right way. You want to go out there and enjoy yourself.
“And being in front of a home crowd, that will help. I can’t wait to hear people cheering me on.
“My friends and family as well – normally they have to watch me fight abroad over a link online, that’s if there even is a link to access! Now they’ll be ringside to watch me.”
Resztan is also hopeful that New Astley’s long-serving coach O’Reilly will make the trip.
She said: “Mark still sends me messages.
“He’s like a second dad to me and I know he’s super proud of me for making the team.
“I’ve worked so hard to get here and Mark has been a big part of that.
“I’m still in the club’s What’sApp groups and Facebook pages. The youngsters there look up to me and I’m always happy to offer them some advice.”