MEET THE TASS STARS OF 2022 – Most Potential – Olivia Holmes
The gloves are off for Liverpool John Moores University student Olivia Holmes after the fast-rising boxer won her place on Great Britain’s boxing programme. The worthy winner of the Athlete With The Most Potential prize at this year’s TASS Stars awards reflects on another whirlwind year.
TASS: How does it feel to be a TASS Stars award winner?
Olivia Holmes: It feels really good to have won an award considering I’ve put in so much work during my time as an athlete supported by TASS. Being recognised as a boxer with potential makes it extra special. It means other people around me can see I can go all the way — not just me! The award will give me lots of confidence going forward!
TASS: What does it mean to be recognised in this way?
OH: It’s a positive thing for me in so many ways. It means a lot to me but I’m also hoping it can inspire others to put the work in knowing that if you take every opportunity then you’ll get there.
TASS: Can you describe the impact of TASS support on your career?
OH: The benefits to my career have been amazing. I’ve learnt to focus more on my S&C work and look closely at the nutrition side of things. That’s made me a bigger and a stronger 54kg boxer. I’m still making weight but I have 10% more strength than I did before.
TASS: Can you summarise the highs and lows of the last 12 months?
OH: The highs are all around meeting practitioners who will now support me throughout my career. They’ve given me the knowledge and the confidence to be the strongest I can be at my weight category. I was able to put that learning into practice when I won the elite national championships and won a bronze medal at the European Under 22 Championships. There have been lows. I was struggling a lot with my sleep — it was affecting my performances as I just couldn’t switch off. The support I received through TASS and BUPA really helped me to overcome this.
TASS: How have you grown as a person and as an athlete during this time?
OH: I’ve grown as a boxer and as an athlete — now I focus on every aspect of high performance sport to make sure I’m the best I can be when it comes to fighting. This includes focusing on nutrition, S&C, lifestyle (mental health), recovery etc. That wider focus has got me to where I am now…on the GB squad! I’ve grown as a person and become more aware of my body and my health. I have more confidence meeting new people along the way and I’m in a position to get great advice from trusted professionals.
TASS: What challenges do you foresee during the next 12 months?
OH: I want to maintain my number one spot at 54kg and always strive to be my best self. Getting more experience with GB Boxing will be key. I am ready to win medals and go to more tournaments so that I can make the Olympic qualifiers and secure my place at Paris 2024.
TASS: What are your primary targets during the next 12 months?
OH: For the time being I’m 100% focused on my sport. That means getting as much experience as possible travelling to tournaments with GB boxing. I can’t look beyond that. If I continue to perform at major tournaments then I can prove I deserve a spot at next year’s Olympic qualifiers.
TASS: Who continues to inspire you to achieve your goals and why?
OH: My inspiration to keep going and to do what I do are the people around me such as my family. Continuing to make them proud and, of course, take pride in myself is what drives me. Having that goal in mind means I am getting closer to what I always dreamt of as a child — to win an Olympic gold medal and to do what I need to do to get there. I know it’s possible when I look at someone like Nicola Adams winning gold at the 2012 Olympics. She’s been my inspiration since I was a child. Watching other athletes such as Lauren Price and Karriss Artingstall achieve their goals is equally inspirational. I train alongside them at Sheffield EIS when I’m on camp so I can learn from them and watch them. Finally I want to make my club — Rotunda ABC — and my coach, Mikey Albo, proud by achieving big things in my career.
Olivia has been boxing since she was 10 and has seven national championships to her name. In her first European Championships earlier this year she came away from Croatia with a bronze medal — after losing to the eventual gold medallist on a split decision. A focused and active student at Liverpool John Moores University, Olivia continues to encourage fellow TASS athletes and point the way to success through hard work and application inside and outside the ring.