Shantelle Ritchie’s command at Ulster level recently extended to a fourth consecutive championship title.
The 14-year-old boxer wrapped up the Girls 4 belt with an unanimous decision over three rounds in Donegal.
Ritchie, a student at Newbridge Integrated College, can boast a string of regional and national honours since taking up the sport at the age of seven years old.
She followed her 18-year-old cousin, Clodagh McComiskey, into the ring as part of the respected Gilford family of fighters.
“Clodagh’s dad, Bernard, is a former professional boxer who trains us both, so it is nice to have that family connection,” said the Gilford teenager. “I am proud of my Mid-Ulster and Ulster wins and the next challenge is to progress at All-Ireland level.
“I have reached the Irish quarter-finals and semi-finals in the past.
“I started training with my uncle around the age of seven then was fighting in the ring around 11 or 12 years old.
“I love the sport and would recommend it to anyone.”
Boxing has become a way of life for Ritchie - with her rewards for such dedication reflected in the string of silverware.
However, she admits the motivation comes from more than pursuit of prizes.
“I actually love the training and fight preparation, as well as the boxing,” she said. “Building up to a fight, I would train for 90 minutes each Monday, Wednesday and Friday at the club in Gilford.
“Then add in hour-long Tuesday and Thursday sessions at times depending on our stage of preparation.
“I also do roadwork on the weekends and just think everything to do with it is brilliant.”