Multi Talented Christy Halbert Oversees the Womens Development in Cardiff

March 07, 2012, 5:18 p.m. (ET)

You should probably address her as Doctor Halbert, as she holds a doctorate in sociology, but she remains as humble today as she did at the very beginning of her boxing journey. So she prefers to simply be called Christy. Breaking down many barriers for women's boxing since hanging up her gloves; she has worked tremendously hard to get the sport to where it is today, especially in the US.

As one of the elite coaches in her homeland, she was been part of the driving force that made the IOC lift its ban on women boxing at the Olympics and part of the reason why this summer at the London 2012 Games, the world will be witnessing for the first time women boxers competing in three weight categories. A watershed moment for the sport and Christy predicts a major boom in the levels of participation worldwide.

Christy was delighted to be involved in the Road to London program after the tremendous success of the Road to Barbados and Road to Antalya initiatives in the previous two years. In Cardiff, where the current training camp is being held, women and men are training together for the first time side by side in a move that highlights the full incorporation of women's boxing into the Olympic program.

"There is no other sport like boxing, it requires so much dedication, the athletes really put their heart and soul into the training", declared Halbert before adding, "I am honoured to each time be a part of the Road to Dream project, is an important initiative by AIBA in the development of the sport worldwide. I am always impressed by the level of the boxers that participate. The women are always focused, hungry and eager to learn from their coaches. Their willingness to go that extra mile in training has really impacted on the improvements they have made."

Kenya's Elizabeth Andiego, boxing at the Middleweight 75kg category, was eager to say, "What is great about the camp is that you get to learn so many different techniques.  I am delighted with the coaching, because they correct what you do wrong but continuously encourage you and that makes you feel so good about yourself. The sparring is different, firstly because for me it is normally always with men.  So here I am adjusting to sparring with women. I am working on increasing my speed."

"I was very excited about returning to the camp, because I knew I would be pushed both physically and mentally. These camps are always so intensive, and each session challenges you, especially to push through mental fatigue. Coach Halbert is always very forthcoming with advice, and giving encouraging feedback", stated Alexis Pritchard, Lightweight 60kg from New Zealand.

Halbert continues to put the women through their paces, getting them to the levels required to make a real impact at the AIBA Women's World Boxing Championships this May in China and give them the best chance of qualifying at that event for the London 2012 Olympic Games.

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