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08 August 2018

Racing UK’s Head of Marketing Ellie Welton recently took part in a charity boxing bout, raising funds for Cancer Research UK. Here she talks about her love of racing and her journey into the boxing ring.

First Memories of Racing
My family have always had an interest in racing. My grandfather trained point-to-pointers from our farm in Oxfordshire and my father and Auntie rode. Unfortunately I don’t remember my fathers days in the saddle but always loved looking at the pictures. As a family we all ride and would spend weekends hunting, point to pointing or going racing. As well as watching the big meetings on television.

Working in Racing
I always wanted to work in racing but wasn’t really sure how to get into it. The graduate programme etc. wasn’t around then so I just kept my eyes out for opportunities advertised whilst working in a different field. I also worked a couple of racedays at one of our local courses, Warwick. Then a job was advertised at the course, I applied and was lucky enough to get the role. I spent 5 years with the Jockey club in different roles and learnt a huge amount before moving on to Newbury. I have been lucky enough to have gained experience on racecourses and also worked on the PR side, looking after sponsorship clients in the sport as well as racecourse media relations before Starting with Racing UK as Head of Racecourse Marketing.

I started boxing about 2 years ago. Primarily for fitness, I’m not good at going to the gym and really need someone to shout at me….! I really wanted to challenge myself at the same time as learning a new skill and Boxing ticked all the boxes. I haven’t looked back, the boxing gym is like another family, everyone really looks after each other and motivates each other to perform to your best and I have stuck at it, so it must be good…. As I got better the trainers suggested I consider doing a fight. I certainly didn’t set out with this in mind but as I improved it was the natural next step and next challenge. I had done the Shine Night Walk in aid of Cancer Research back in 2014 and had been looking for a charity challenge, so this seemed the natural choice. Unfortunately Cancer affects all of us and has touched my family as well as some of my closest friends so I decided to put myself forward for Fight School.

10 Week Camp
Boxers go into camp ahead of their fights and for me it was no different. We started the journey on Tuesday 15th May with fitness tests and a weigh in… I didn’t have much to lose but my trainer suggested weighing in at 60kg for fight night.
I trained 5 nights a week for 10 weeks. Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday. This included pads and bag classes, sparring, circuits, skipping and running. It pretty much takes over your life… All there was, was work, the gym then bed. The other main factor was my diet. Focusing on plenty of protein and nothing bad…!
It really was a challenge like no other, there is so much to deal with, getting hit is just the start. Self-doubt and confidence was a massive battle for me. There were also plenty of black eyes and bruised ribs along the way to try and explain to people. There were 19 of us that started the camp and 11 made it to fight night. 2 weeks prior to the fight I sustained a calf muscle tear during circuit training, whilst doing sprint drills. It felt like the end of the world. No one could tell me if I was going to be fit enough for the event as everyone heals differently. I had to rest for a week, which felt like a lifetime, I had physio and ultrasound treatment which helped. I haven’t run since this happened and wasn’t able to train on my toes as boxers normally would. This meant I had to adapt my style….

Fight Night
I weighed in at 56kgs and feeling the fittest I have ever been despite the setback. Fight night was a bit of a blur but it presented its own challenges when my opponent failed to turn up! They found a replacement which was pretty daunting in itself. She was bigger than me but I had got that far and wanted to do all those who had sponsored and come to support me proud. I didn’t notice the injury during the fight, a mixture of adrenaline and trying to avoid the punches….. Winning really was the icing on the cake.

Money Raised
The total currently stands at £1,944.63 I would dearly like to crack the £2,000 mark. Fingers crossed. Just Giving link

Future Plans
I’m not sure if anything will come close to this again the adrenaline and the buzz was something else. I like the idea of retiring from the ring undefeated but never say never! I’m always up for a challenge and will certainly be looking for something else to do for charity in time. I haven’t done a charity race, so maybe that’s next? I’m just enjoying the down time for now but I’m already back in the gym punching the bag. It’s very addictive…

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