With a Commonwealth Gold Medal, European Silver Medal and a British Masters win to his name, it’s fair to say Courtney Fry is a formidable boxer; but there’s more to Fry than simply just boxing. Having worked with young people for a number of years as part of the Sky Sport mentoring team, Fry’s biggest passion after sport is helping young people, and when we sat down to interview him that was evident in his contagious, passionate enthusiasm: “I’m a great believer in sport,” he said, “because I believe it gives you so many transferable skills… it gives you so much: resilience, self-esteem, confidence. And there’s certain subjects that don’t seem to able to do that, but sport does.”
When asked about how he engages and helps young people, Fry went on to comment upon how he uses his sporting career as his “spring board” in being able to build up a rapport with a young person in order work with them effectively and build up the skills he feels that sport gives, but it’s not only his sporting career that catches young people’s attention; Fry’s honesty surrounding the hardships he’s faced really makes young people engage and identify with him. He began boxing at the age of 15, encouraged by his father, as a way to channel his excess energy, and he cited boxing as one of the reasons behind keeping himself out of a lot of trouble in the past so naturally he feels that boxing and mentoring can do the same for young people in similar positions.
“When I was younger I made so many mistakes and at times, when I get up to tell my story, I see it as some sort of therapy,” he laughed, “and hopefully they can learn from how stupid I was and from my mistakes, like… I’ve made the mistakes so you don’t have to.”
When asked about what boxing has given him and the most important thing it can give young people, Fry replied with three skills that he considered essential in or out of the ring: “Dedication, discipline and determination.” For Fry these skills and his own past are a way of showing young people their true potentials. “Look what I’ve done,” he said. “I’ve been able to get out of this ditch, out of all these problems I was in, and I’ve been successful… and you can do the same.”