Support overwhelms Gold Coast medal hopeful Whiteside
From locking people up to knocking them down in the ring, Lisa Whiteside is not a woman to mess with.
The 32-year-old from Preston is a World and European Championships medallist and has already added a Commonwealth Games bronze to that list this week.
Making her debut at the Commonwealth Games, Chorley-born Whiteside has been taken aback by the support she has received from home - with even her former colleagues getting in touch to wish her well.
“The support has been absolutely amazing,” said the flyweight. “I’m overwhelmed by the support I’ve had from home. My family are absolutely amazing and the backing I’ve had from them - that’s why I’m here.
“My friends, my coach Mick Day, I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for him.
“Then my old colleagues as well, I used to be in Lancashire police but am on a career break.
“But I’ve had them backing me, watching fights and sending me messages – it’s amazing.
“It’s a bit surreal. You look on Facebook and there are so many notifications – and being on TV just doesn’t feel real.”
Whiteside has had to wait to make her Commonwealth Games debut, with Nicola Adams the preferred choice in her division for so long.
And she has had to wait on the Gold Coast too, with her 51kg division not beginning until Wednesday.
But she began with a split decision win over India’s Pinki Rani and will now face Australia’s Taylah Robertson for the right to fight for a gold medal on Friday.
And with nine of Team England’s boxers already having secured at least a bronze medal, Whiteside is keen to upgrade hers to a gold.
“I’m just concentrating on me but we’ll have a look at the video of her on the day of the fight and work out some tactics,” she added.
“I’ve got European silvers and bronze, I’ve gold world silver and bronze but I’ve never got that gold medal.
“To be able to say I’ve got a Commonwealth gold medal would mean the absolute world to me.”
npower is the Official Partner of Team England and is giving our athletes the power of support by recording a brand new version of their anthem, Jerusalem. To listen to the track visit npower.com/teamengland