Stacey sets sights on return after revealing injury agony

HYDE boxer Stacey Copeland is on her way back to the ring after revealing her agony over injuries that have stalled her attempt to become a world champion.

The Godley-based fighter has been forced to wait for her return from a knee problem.But there is now light at the end of the tunnel and she hopes to be back sparring by the end of October.

Stacey said: “I can’t wait to fight again. 14 months out injured and while I’m thankful to have lots of positive stuff outside of boxing, nothing replaces this.

“The focus, drive, purpose and challenge, there’s nothing like it. Training is going well and I hope to be sparring at the end of this month.”

Stacey admitted that at times the frustration has got on top of her while she has had to improvise in a bid to stay fit.

After waiting following her Commonwealth title triumph in July last year, said: “Since then in boxing terms it’s been an extremely frustrating time due to injuries, including two surgeries and a number of injections and procedures.

“I have been able to train most of the time by finding ways around it, such as training one handed while my injured hand was in a sling.

“Then designing a circuit that I could do even while on crutches – earning some funny looks in the gym that’s for sure!”

Stacey, 37, may appear the busiest woman in the world because of her work with the Pave The Way foundation, other media work, public speaking and a ‘day job’ working at Manchester’s Parrs Wood Secondary School but there are times where she feels alone.

She added: “Long periods of injury can feel lonely so I’m fortunate to have people around me who are positive, who focus on solutions rather than the obstacles and who maintain belief in me.

“On days when I have felt really despondent and been low on ‘positive fuel’ that’s when it has been so important to have people in my life who I think of as positive petrol pumps! People I can go to who refuel me and have the words to keep me upbeat.

“My coach Blain Younis has been brilliant, always making me feel like a valued part of our team, taking my training sessions seriously even when it’s just been waiting for a surgery, and always helping me believe that I can come back and fight again.

“Having so many activities outside of boxing has been particularly helpful, nothing is the same as boxing and nothing fills that void, but it is better to have some things to focus on than nothing at all.”Stacey also revealed her time out of the ring has taught her it is always better to have something away from sport to think about – or as it’s known, a ‘side hustle.’

She continued: “Of course with my whole heart I want to box again and I will be sure to do absolutely everything I can to get back to what I love and achieve my dreams in the sport.

“However, during this time it has been immensely important to have things in my life outside boxing to focus on.

“At a workshop with the Women’s Sport Trust in May, we talked about athletes having a ‘side hustle.’

“Well I would encourage all athletes to consider having interests beyond competing because injuries are bad enough but even more destructive when it takes your identity and entire sense of purpose away with it too.”

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