Natasha Jonas Journal
A pro boxer, mentor, 2012 Olympian and mother, Natasha Jonas is an athlete that lives up to her name. The former GB Olympian has and continues to live a standout career in boxing, but has since transitioned to using her experiences to inspire other athletes and young people to live healthy and strive go after their goals without fear.
With titles behind her name, she is pushing to encourage others to do the same and is driven to change perceptions of females in sports, and sports for health in general.
“I genuinely think there's a sport for everyone. Boxing is just the sport I finished in, but I have tried hundreds, literally. We all know the positive physical effects sports has but we don't talk much about the positive effect it has on our mental, emotional and spiritual health.”
She demonstrates how sports can teach you so much more than physical skills, a topic which she is passionate about sharing with other young competitors who often become unmotivated:
“Because of boxing I'm hardworking, confident, committed, reliable, motivated, resilient, a good communicator and so much more”
“Some of my best workout sessions have happened when I wasn’t up for the session. I think it's important to have a session plan, goal and an understanding of how it's going to benefit you”.
“Entering a fight, you want to be confident that all the hard work has been done and no stone was left unturned. You are physically in the best place you can be. You have worked out a plan of your opponent, you’re comfortable with the plan and believe you can carry it out.”
As with many athletes, Natasha has encountered some setbacks along her journey, but she used these experiences to become stronger and more resilient:
“If you told me I couldn't do something, I used it as motivation to prove you wrong. I took this into my sporting life. Just because things have never been done, doesn't mean they can't be.”
“When I became a mother, the title Mum and the duty to my daughter comes first before anything. She has provided me with a bigger motivation to achieve more but also puts things into perspective.”
Her daughter has even become part of the team, motivating her through sessions, particular postlockdown, sharing heart-warming moments as she joins her in the gym:
“When lockdown restrictions eased and we were allowed back in the gym, she was more involved than ever, giving me water in between rounds, racing me on the track and giving me hugs when I needed them.”
Alike to her hopes for her daughter and her surroundings, Natasha has been a mentor for young people in the past, speaking of the stigmas surrounding female athletes that still exist in the industry, all of which she has been motivated to change:
“It's the young people's minds I would love to influence…it becomes uncool for girls to be a part of a sports team or do any type of physical activity. It’s seen as not girly/womanly thing to do. But it’s so important to change this perception because of the benefits and opportunities that can come with doing sports.”
“Standing out and being different is brilliant. If you have a talent no matter what it's in, respect it, use it, show it. Being athletic and looking strong is still beautiful and feminine. So, whether it’s your dancing shoes, trainers, studs, spikes, pumps put them on, lace them up and get involved!”
On her own personal ventures, she has big goals ahead of her and isn’t holding back:
“My next big goal is a world title, whichever one I can go for. Hopefully a rematch for the WBC and IBO title I just drew against current champion Terri Harper. If not any other, I'm not fussy.”
Being brought up in Liverpool, she has always been a LFC fan and believes the city has brought her great support in shaping where she is today:
“Liverpool is the best city in the world in my opinion and has definitely shaped me as a person. As a city we have always stood up for what we believed in, challenged, broken down stereotypes, had many successful sporting teams/ individuals and always support our own, I think that reflects the person I am.”
She shows her endless love for her hometown and says the support it has shown her throughout her career has made a big difference to the place she is today:
“That's huge as an athlete, especially when you’re a female in a male dominated sport, being promoted, visible and recognised in a positive way is encouraging.”
“My message is simple, believe in yourself always. That means when times get hard, things don't go your way and when nobody else believes in you, if you have a dream, no matter what it is, if you’re willing to put in the work and believe you can do it, then it's possible. Your mind is the most valuable and strongest attribute you have.”