Australian Boxer, Shelley Watts, was invited to visit the South Sydney Rabbitohs at the Simply Energy High Performance Centre in April to watch training and meet the players during her lead up to the Olympic Games.
As Shelley prepares for her first bout against Italy’s Irma Testa on Saturday, Rabbitohs Head Coach, Michael Maguire, says the boys will be cheering her on as she aims to bring home the Olympic Gold Medal.
“We found out she loved the Rabbitohs and was very passionate about them. She made contact through a mutual friend and from there came into training and observed the boys,” Recounted Maguire.
“I’ve continually stayed in touch with her via texts around her training and wishing her all the best.”
Maguire’s interest in the boxing has expanded prior to the Olympics after Shelley’s visit and believes she is prepared to make an impact in Rio.
“When you all of a sudden become personal with someone that’s over there trying to achieve in similar arenas to what we are doing each week and she’s doing on the big stage then we all want her to be successful.
“It’s definitely made my interest in the boxing a lot greater prior to the Olympics.”
Shelley will compete in the Women’s Light 60kg event that includes four bouts in total. A gold medal win for Watts will mark the first for Australian boxing whereas a silver or bronze will break the Olympic boxing drought with the last medal won in 1988.
Shelley is an active member on social media, finely documenting her first Olympic experience. She is the only Australian woman boxer competing at the games but has enjoyed cheering on her fellow Australian team mates in their respective sports..
“She’s a very positive and outgoing person, she loves the Rabbitohs.” said Maguire.
“I know she’s running around over there with her Rabbitohs shirts on everywhere she goes and she’s been doing that right throughout training camp so there has been a lot of photos posted around her in the Rabbitohs gear so we are all behind her.”