She's officially one of this year’s Golden Girls of international boxing – and 16-year-old student Macy Kilkenny is also punching above her weight at Middlesbrough College.
Macy, from Middlesbrough, recently travelled to Sweden to fight her way to a silver medal at the world’s biggest female boxing tournament, the Golden Girls Championship.
The 48kg junior ABA and CYP champion also regularly trains with the GB boxing team in Sheffield as part of its Pathway development squad.
But despite that, and all the other training she does at East Middlesbrough Amateur Boxing Club, Macy is still finding time to be a winner at college.
She started a BTEC Level 3 Sports Coaching Development and Fitness Course in September after gaining 11 GCSEs at school.
Tutor Francesca Bousfield said: “Macy’s an absolutely fantastic student – she’s very quiet and focused in lessons and is one of our real high flyers.
“She gets on with her fellow students really well, and we can’t speak highly enough about her. She is a wonderful young lady and a pleasure to teach.
“Macy is very reserved when it comes to talking about her athletic achievements. It was only through her one-to-one tutorial meeting that she explained the extent of her involvement with East Middlesbrough ABC.
“We are very proud of Macy and how she manages to balance her commitments and succeed at such high levels.”
Macy started boxing thanks to her dad Jason, a former boxer who is a training instructor at PD Ports’ ferry terminal at Teesport.
She said: “I train at my club Monday, Wednesday and Friday, and I get up in the morning and do running and sprints with my dad. The other days I do my own fitness training, which might be swimming.”
Keeping up to speed with her studies is hard work, she admits, but she does it by being really organised – and she feels it’s well worth it.
“I plan everything I’m doing for the week and make sure I know what work needs to be submitted, because my weekends are taken up by training,” Macy said.
“I’m really enjoying my course. I want to become a sports therapist and work with different athletes, maybe in the Team GB camp.
“The course helps me as a boxer, too, because I’m learning about different types of training at college as well as in boxing.”
Middlesbrough College Principal and Chief Executive Zoe Lewis said Macy’s boxing achievements are already impressive – and so are her academic efforts.
“She’s a real role model as a student and as a sportswoman,” she said.
“We feel privileged to be helping Macy in both her areas of sport, and she’s laying fantastic foundations for an enjoyable career that will build on her success in the ring.”