LEADING coach Amanda Groarke continues to fly the flag for Warrington and women’s boxing on the international scene.

The 44-year-old is currently in Bulgaria for the prestigious Amateur International Boxing Association Youth World Championships as a coach with the Great Britain amateur squad.

Groarke, head coach at family-run boxing gym Hook and Jab on Palatine Industrial Estate, is working with talented fighters Crystal Barker and Sophie Colburn, assisting them in their bid for success at the Armeec Arena in Sofia and subsequent selection for a place at the Nanjing 2014 Youth Olympic Games.

Barker and Colburn are also part of the Merseyside and Cheshire Boxing Squad that Groarke oversees.

She has been an amateur boxing coach since 1997 and supported the GB Women’s Boxing Squad since 2011.

Groarke gained a permanent coaching role with the squad in 2013 and has worked closely with celebrated British boxing stars including Olympic gold medallist Nicola Adams, Merseyside Olympian Natasha Jonas and Savannah Marshall, who was Britain’s first women’s boxing world title winner.

The coach has blazed a trail for women’s boxing in the UK, becoming the first female in the country to pass the Advanced Boxing Coach qualification.

She is also one of only a select few AIBA Three-Star boxing coaches in the world – the highest qualification in the sport.

In recognition of her dedicated contribution to amateur boxing, she was chosen to take part in the 2012 Olympic Torch Relay that passed through Warrington.

She said: “It’s an incredible honour to be working at the highest level of my sport, coaching the GB Boxing squad.

“In Crystal and Sophie we have two talented prospects who have every chance of success on the world stage.

“I’m excited to be working with them and the rest of the squad at this important tournament.”

Groarke added: “I have a close relationship with all of our boxers.

“I don’t just focus on developing their technical skills, but also aim to build a great relationship with them and give them the confidence to fulfil their greatest potential.

“I couldn’t be prouder of what they have already achieved and hope that they can return from Sofia having enjoyed medal success.”

When Groarke is not working with the GB squad, she provides coaching at the gym she runs with her husband – former professional boxer Derek Groarke.

She works closely with the Hook and Jab Police ABC squad, as well as boxing and fitness enthusiasts who attend the daily circuit classes held at the gym.