sparring, heels and awards!

Since my last blog – in terms of boxing training we have progressed to sparring which has been a massive step forward. I have absolutely loved being back in the ring and doing what I love, and as always, there is a huge risk involved when putting your heart and soul into chasing a dream, there are many things (like injury) which can snatch it all away from you in an instant. However, sometimes what you want is bigger than what you fear, so you go for it anyway. And that’s just what I’m doing, I’m putting everything I can into training and will push as hard as possible to see if I can get back to where I want to be. I’ll be heart broken if I can’t box again of course I will, but I need to know I have tried everything I can. So with my new Ossur knee brace, it’s on we go!

Last week was quite something! On Thursday 7th Nov it was 8 years since I started work at Parrs Wood High School, other than that it was a normal school day, after school I went to the gym nearby where I do a spin class for our staff every Thursday, and then I rushed over to the AJ Bell Stadium, for a very unusual evening!

I was headed to the O2 Media Awards as I was nominated in the ‘Emerging Talent’ category for the Paving The Way series I’d presented with Granada Reports. I arrived with minutes to spare, in my tracksuit, with all my fancy stuff tucked under my arm, drenched from the pouring rain and searching for a place to get changed. I found a toilet and frantically started to get ready… negotiating heels, make up, jewellery and worst of all trying to zip up a dress by yourself is not the best at any time, but with limited time it’s even more stressful! Eventually one of the organisers came in and asked if there was a Stacey Copeland in the toilet! I came out of the cubicle with a half-zipped dress, trainers on, carrying a big sports bag whilst trying to apply make up! She looked a little shocked to say the least! We got me all zipped up, shoved my heels on, threw all my kit into my bag and made our way to the awards suite in a bit of a whirlwind. The event itself was great, seeing all the different ways that so many stories had been covered by the North West media made me feel proud to be part of it and better still, the real local heroes who’d been featured in the reports were actually there to hand out the awards.

When it came to my category I was quite relaxed as I was certain that I wouldn’t be in danger of having to make my way up to the stage, however to my almighty surprise, when it came to announcing the winner they read my name out, I nearly fell over! Then came my attempt at wandering up to the stage in my heels, trying to look like I’m a real natural at walking in shoes which squash your entire foot into a pointy ended device and require you to balance on a heel the width of a felt tip pen whilst your foot is angled downwards like you’ve dislocated the bloody thing! (But no doubt I pulled it off in a sophisticated fashion!) The whole evening didn’t seem real and it was genuinely an amazing night to be part of. I was gutted that Mike Hall couldn’t be there since it was all down to him that I even got the chance to do the series, but his brother Chris Hall was there and he also won an award which was great! My friends and colleagues from BBC Radio Manchester were also there including Liam Bradford, the first person to mentor me when I joined the BBC summer scheme 3 years ago. So I was delighted to be able to share the award with him as he was one of the first people to believe in me with all this radio and media stuff.

“A lot of people have gone further than they thought they could because someone else thought they could”

This is most definitely the case for me, everybody at Granada Reports has been so encouraging and supportive, and so has everyone at BBC Radio Manchester, it’s meant so much and has enabled me to walk through the doors that have been opened in front of me. Thank you to all of those who have helped me to believe in myself as these opportunities in radio and TV broadcasting presented themselves this last year or so. I will make the most of every chance that comes my way, but most importantly I’ll be sure to always try and do the same for others so that they too can know someone believes in them. Til next time…keep shining bright 😊