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Stacey Copeland on the Road to the 'Calais Jungle' helping Refugees
by Michael O'Neill
Photos: Courtesy/Facebook
September 29, 2016

(SEPT 29) One of the major news stories round the world in recent years has been the dramatic increase in numbers of refugees drowned or killed whilst trying to escape war torn zones in all Continents. So it’s a pleasure today to report on the activities of one Stacey Copeland who is doing as much as she can to help those less fortunate than herself.

England’s leading 69kg boxing hope for the European Women’s Elite Championships in Sofia has had a few serious setbacks in her time in the World of Sport, even before she became a boxer and sadly she will not be able to take part in the above mentioned Championships in the Bulgarian capital due to surgery that ‘went wrong’ many weeks ago.

Stacey Copeland grew up immersed in boxing. Her dad boxed for England before turning professional and her grandad boxed before opening an amateur gym in the 1970’s. Stacey loved the sport and was always watching boxing, or in the gym, sparring, training, and going to all the shows with her club mates.

However, despite being just as good as the boys in her club, Stacey could not compete as boxing was banned for women at that time.

She still has a full time job and is also well known in the UK for occasional boxing commentary contributions to not only ‘England Boxing’ but more recently to the BBC Sport in Manchester and at boxing tournaments in UK.

She first came to notice as a soccer player with Doncaster Belles and had spells with clubs in the United States and in Europe. For her though she could not compete in boxing due to women’s boxing being banned in UK at that time hence she turned to soccer to begin with before eventually returning to her beloved boxing.

The name of Stacey Copeland is of course already well known to WBAN readers and to all in the AIBA and EUBC boxing families for her many titles not only in UK but throughout Europe and beyond. Now she tackles yet another adventure, with all the energy she normally devotes to her boxing.

Having hired a van to make the journey South, Stacey is hoping to take a variety of sports equipment with her. She told local ‘Tameside Reporter Sport’: “Unfortunately I can’t compete at the championships due to injury, so I’ve decided to spend my time with those suffering in the Calais jungle.

“I’m heading there on October 22, but before I make the trip I need donations of sports equipment to take with me.

“Mostly we need football and cricket equipment, plus trainers – size 40-42 especially – and small/medium tracksuit bottoms and hoodies/sweat tops.

“The camp is based on wasteland, so any sports equipment would need to be useable.

“I’d massively appreciate support of any kind with my venture.”

Here Stacey tells us more about the cause and what she needs and why – above all she would be delighted to receive donations via GoFundMe from anyone

anywhere in the World to help fund her trip and above all to assist those poor suffering children in Calais (France) many of whose parents already perished in their native lands (including Syria, Afghanistan and Libya to name but three of many).

“As you all know, I am currently injured and therefore my hopes of representing England at the European Championships in November have been crushed. I'm deeply gutted about this, especially since it is due to a mistake (chemical burn) caused in surgery.

However, I can't change that, I can only decide how to respond, and I have decided to try and turn it into a positive, by helping others, and those 'others' are children and youths in the Jungle Refugee camp in Calais. I will be going there along with (boyfriend) Mark Bebbington during my October school holiday to help set up a boxing gym, run boxing sessions, sports sessions, teach English, and help out in any way we can.

We know what a difference sport can make in people's lives, no matter what situation they may be in, it can offer hope, escapism, confidence, and the opportunity to feel part of something, feel valued, and to just be a kid for that part of the day.

Regardless of the politics involved, children are never at fault, yet suffer greatly during times of conflict. I really believe that by showing we care, it can make a difference, and I know sport can have a lasting impact on people, just as it always has on me.

I have already booked our transport, but it would really help if I could raise some money towards petrol, van hire, and accommodation etc. It will cost at least £1000 for the trip and if I can raise an additional £500 towards it that would really help with the expenses. Please donate if you can, and if you have boxing or sports supplies such as equipment/sports clothing or anything like that please let me know!! We'll be packing as much stuff as possible into the van so any donations will be greatly appreciated. Let me know if you have boxing/sports equipment you can donate!

Stace xxx”

So that’s what she needs and every donation, big or small, will be welcome.

It’s also an opportunity for fans of the sport at home and abroad and that includes ALL Boxing Associations wherever in the world you are, to contribute in

some small way towards making these Refugees ‘welcome’ and feel that ‘somewhere, somewhere’ cares for them.

You can donate via this link and all donations will be acknowledged and a receipt provided, so not only can individuals, but any organisation or any business Company contribute: Link

Background information on Stacey Copeland: Link

Twitter update :  Link

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