Chelsea boxing star Caroline Dubois has been on the rise for some time with her stellar performances now recognised after being shortlisted for SportsAid’s prestigious One-to-Watch Award.
Dubois became double European junior champion in July as she claimed gold in the 60kg category, having earned the 57kg title in 2016.
Now, the 16-year-old could potentially join another list of high-flying winners, as double Olympic medallist Tom Daley won the inaugural SportsAid’s One-to-Watch Award in 2006 and five other previous recipients also competed at the Rio Games.
And Dubois, who was also victorious at the Three Nations Championships in April, was delighted to be noticed for all she has achieved in the past 12 months.
“I felt privileged that I got the opportunity and that people recognised my talent and skill, showing it was worthy of a nomination,” said Dubois, who receives a SportsAid grant through the Backing The Best programme with Sport England.
“It’s nice to be recognised for all the hard work I put in and for my talent. I’ve achieved a lot this year and not just this year, but last year as well.
“It’s all coming together because I won the Europeans again so I’m a two-time European champion now which hadn’t been done by a female boxer for a long time.
“The SportsAid funding has helped massively because this year has been so busy – I’ve had camps all the way up in Warrington and Sheffield.
“So it’s helped me get to those areas, sometimes my Dad is not around to take me there because I’ve got brothers who box as well so if they have to get somewhere at the same time he can’t take all of us.”
Dubois is one of ten nominees selected from over 1,000 rising British stars supported by SportsAid across more than 60 different sports, with the winner presented at the charity’s annual SportsBall on November 23.
Dame Katherine Grainger, Britain’s most decorated female Olympian, and five-time Paralympic champion Natasha Baker are among the panel of judges for the award.
And the Repton Boxing Club fighter is already preparing to defend her European title, as another gold would mean qualification for next autumn’s Youth Olympic Games in Argentina.
“It would mean the world to me to get another European gold and go to the Youth Olympics because it’s all I’ve been training for, it’s what I’ve been putting all my hard work into,” she added.
“To lose in the Europeans would be devastating because I’ve never lost before there. It’d be losing at the pivotal moment where it could mean representing my country at the Youth Olympics.
“I’ve got lots of support from my Dad, who’s been training me and putting in work outside my boxing club.
“I go to loads of camps for England, I get to spar with the best girls all around the country so it’s good preparation.”
The winner of SportsAid’s prestigious One-to-Watch Award will be revealed at the charity’s annual SportsBall in London on Thursday 23 November. All the funds raised from the SportsBall help to support the next generation of British athletes. Please visit www.sportsball.org.uk for ticket information.