With medals at the European Junior Championships in 2016, Commonwealth Youth Games in 2017 and European Youth Championships in 2018, Dundee boxer Sam Hickey is making a name for himself as a major championship performer, as he looks to follow in the footsteps of some of Scotland’s boxing greats.
Making the step up to senior level this year, he will be buoyed by a hugely successful 2018 which, alongside European Championship bronze, saw him take bronze at the prestigious Golden Glove tournament in Serbia, represent Scotland at the World Youth Championships and lift the British title for the first time in his career.
“2018 was a very good year for me,” he said. “Winning the medal at the Europeans is up there as one of the best moments, but my personal highlight of the year, that I am most proud of, was the British gold medal. It meant a lot to me as the championships were in Scotland this year and it was the first time I had won the GB title. I felt like I had been very unlucky not to win it over the years and that all the hard work in the gym was starting to pay off.”
“Training is going well and over the next year I would like to win my first Scottish senior title and establish myself as the best elite boxer in Scotland. I also want to win medals at multi-nation tournaments around the world.”
Sam’s ambitions don’t stop at 2019 and he’s keen to make a return to the Commonwealth Games as a senior, having tasted medal success at the Bahamas 2017 Youth Games on his debut for Team Scotland.
“Birmingham 2022 is definitely in my plans and I am doing my best to make sure I am going to the Games,” he said. “The Commonwealth Youth Games was a great experience. Representing Team Scotland was amazing and something I will never forget. I really enjoyed it as it wasn’t just boxing, there were loads of other sports to go and watch. The whole atmosphere of the Youth Games was brilliant and it’s really made me set my eyes on making sure I am going to be at the next Games come 2022.”
A further boost to his goals has come in the form of a PHM Athlete Award via the Team Scotland Youth Trust. The fund provides awards of up to £1,000 to athletes under the age of 26, to assist with their preparation for significant major events including the Commonwealth Games and Sam is encouraged, both by the financial support and by the recognition in receiving the award.
“Receiving PHM Athlete Award support means a lot to me, especially as there are a lot of other top athletes out there. To be in this group of people who received funding gives me a little boost of confidence in itself. It’s going to help with a lot of things financially, especially travel expenses and my strength and conditioning. It will just make everything that little bit easier and take a lot of pressure off my shoulders and it has given me another boost to get the head down and get ready for the seniors in 2019.”
Team Scotland boxers have an impressive track record and Boxing Scotland Head Coach for the past three Commonwealth Games, Mike Keane, rates Sam’s chances of reaching his goals:
“Sam is one of our best prospects at the moment, demonstrating his skills at major events and winning bouts in both domestic and international competition. He qualified for last year’s World Championships where he lost out on a split decision, but performed well in what is one of the biggest competitions he can attend. He’s definitely one to look out for as a potential for Birmingham 2022.”