A TEENAGE boxer from Westhoughton has brought home a gold medal at her first ever national competition.

Paige Howarth, won gold at the Riveria Box Cup in Torquay last weekend, competing against two others in the semi-final to win the medal.

The 16-year-old started her boxing journey two years ago, mostly for fitness purposes,. But she said she has always admired and loved the sport and is so happy she has won her first gold.

She said: “I was over the moon to win, I hadn’t even expected to be in my first box cup so soon after Covid, after having 18 months out of the ring and boxing for a new club for the first time. It felt amazing to be able to go and win.”

The Riviera Box Cup is a two-day Olympic style boxing tournament set on the south-west coast for junior, youth and senior boxers.

The event normally hosts hundreds of boxers from all over the UK, but this year the box cup only opened for England and Scotland due to the pandemic.

Paige will be competing again in a couple of weeks at a national development competition, as well as for the nationals in October.

But the Riveria cup is one she will always remember.

Paige said: “The atmosphere was incredible because of the Olympic-style event having hundreds of competitors and spectators. I’m really looking forward to the rest of this season and to further my boxing career and I’m actively looking for sponsors to help me achieve my goals.

“I’m extremely lucky that I have such a supportive group around me, especially my mum and stepdad, who support me 100 per cent with my goals and dreams.”

Paige says she feels lucky to have great coaches who have also helped her to succeed and added: “I am incredibly lucky to be trained at Clayton ABC. The dedication from all four coaches to the boxers is amazing. Thank you to John Brindle, Ellis Nuttal, Laura Lowe and Martin Morely.”

Dawn Janciauskas, Paige’s mum, says Paige is a “very talented boxer and one to watch for the future.”