Paras Punch Their Way to Lifting Army Boxing Title
Soldiers from 3rd Battalion The Parachute Regiment have won the Army’s boxing title for the seventh time in ten years.
Colchester-based 3 PARA lifted the belt in resounding fashion after beating 22 Engineer Regiment 8-1 in the final of the Army Major Units Boxing Championship at Aldershot.
3 PARA has won the competition every time it has entered since 2003, and only did not compete in 2006, 2008 or 2011 because it was on operations in Afghanistan. This year’s victory comes within 12 months of returning from a tour of Afghanistan, in which time the unit has taken on the role as the British Army’s rapid reaction force.
Maj Des Hendry is the 3 PARA boxing officer and described their victory as ’fantastic.’ Maj Hendry said: ‘We are delighted to have reclaimed our title. 22 Engr Regt provided strong opponents and must be congratulated on reaching the final, it was just that our boxers were fitter, stronger, technically better and more determined.’
In front of a passionate and vocal full house of around 700 spectators, 3 PARA secured the win after straight victories in the first five bouts. 22 Engr Regt won the final heavyweight contest, with the 3 PARA victories including three standing counts and one knockout.
Maj Hendry highlighted the quality of the team’s coaches as the main reason for 3 PARA’s success. He said: ‘We know that when soldiers come to the battalion from training they are going to be fit, strong and determined and provide good raw material as boxers. Our coaches have taken onboard the best practice in boxing and given the guys excellent technique to go with their talent.
‘We’ve got fresh blood coming through into our boxing team and the pressure is now on the rest of the Army to match the standards we have set in the ring.’
Maj Hendry emphasised that the boxers are soldiers first and ready to deploy as part of the Airborne Task Force (ABTF), which is maintained by 16 Air Assault Brigade to be ready to go on operations anywhere in the world at short notice.
As Head coach, Sgt Pete Preece, said: ‘Most of the team came back from Afghanistan last spring and we have fitted boxing around our military training. As ABTF troops, our kit is packed and we’re ready to go.’