A refugee who arrived in Bolton at the age of 10 will fulfil her Olympic boxing dreams this summer.

Cindy Ngamba, now aged 25, became the first ever boxing member of the IOC’s Refugee Olympic Team member to secure an Olympic quota with her displays at a March qualifier in Italy and is set to line up in the middleweight division in Paris.

She has been training with the GB Boxing squad in Sheffield for the past two years and the Cameroon-born fighter is relishing the opportunity to show what she can do on the biggest stage.

“From when I joined the refugee team as a scholarship holder, the Olympics has been my goal,” she said.

“I visualised it at every training session and for it to become reality, it means the world.

“GB Boxing have been trying to fix my papers, but we’ve not been able to, which is why they helped me join the refugee team. Now I can use the gift I was born with and my skills.

“I had never heard about boxing in Cameroon, or even when I first came to the UK.

“I was mainly playing football at a youth club in Bolton, Bolton Lads and Girls Club, but I got bored with the training sessions. It wasn’t very intense, I wanted something a bit spicier.”

Ngamba has found her calling in the ring and paid tribute to the British squad for fine-tuning her skillset.

She could yet line up against one of her training partners, Chantelle Reid, in Paris, with both looking to claim the middleweight gold won by Lauren Price in Tokyo.

“When I first came into GB Boxing, I was a bit raw and I just liked to fight,” she said.

“The GB boxers cleaned me up a bit, made me smarter and a bit more professional.

“The team has welcomed me with open arms, they treat me as Cindy, they don’t look at me as a refugee.”

Ngamba, who has trained at the Elite Gym in Halliwell, is one of 36 athletes, five of whom are based in Britain, on the 2024 Olympic Refugee team, who will compete in 12 different sports.

“I met other members of the team at the first qualifier and will be staying with them in Paris,” she said.

“It’s a beautiful thing. There are millions of refugees all around the world and those of us who have been given the opportunity are making the best of it.

“I hope those who did not get the opportunity look at us and think ‘that could be me one day’.

“I hope the next generation can achieve even more.

“I want them to make a name for themselves, change their lives and make history.

“I am confident – if you are not confident in any sport, what is the point? If it’s meant to be, grab it with both hands.”

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