Jonas: The legacy goes on
England boxer Natasha Jonas insists the Commonwealth Games will provide another boost to the sport's growing popularity.
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After the incredible success of the London Olympics two years ago, women's boxing will make it's debut in the Glasgow Games with Jonas part of a three-strong England ladies team along with Nicola Adams and Savannah Marshall.
The 30-year-old from Liverpool is relishing the experience and believes the talented trio will claim medals.
"It's great that they have decided to build on the success of the Olympics by adding women's boxing to the Commonwealths," Jonas told sporting life.com.
"There has already been an increase in participation of women in boxing in England, and amateur boxing in general, so we have to keep building on that. "The aim is to keep the Olympic legacy going and being in the Commonwealths will help do that.
"As a boxer, the three most important competitions are the Olympic which is the pinnacle for any amateur, the world championships and the Europeans. But the Commonwealth Games will provide us with great exposure and hopefully might result in new sponsors. It's a chance to get yourself out there so for that reason it is important."
Lightweight (60kg) Jonas is in good form ahead of Glasgow having won a silver medal in last month's European Championships in Bucharest.
"My preparation has been absolutely amazing," she said. "Obviously it was building up anyway for the Europeans which was another major tournament.
"I did well in that by winning the silver medal and now I just want to carry on going forward and build on that success. We've had multi-nation camps in the run-up to Glasgow and that has been a great experience.
"Like the Olympics, there are only three weights for the girls but we have the best squad going there - Olympic, World and European medallists in Nicola Adams, Savannah Marshall and myself so we're going there looking for gold.
"We each know that on our day we are all capable of doing that and it certainly won't be for a lack of trying or a lack of training."
Jonas admits she is unsure what kind of reception the England boxers will get from a partisan Scottish crowd.
But she is looking forward to the chance to once more be part of the unique atmosphere of an athlete's village.
"I've been to Glasgow a couple times for professional shows and the atmosphere is unreal," she said.
"Only time will tell what kind of reception we will get, but Glasgow is similar to Liverpool in that they they love their boxing so hopefully they will get behind us no matter who we're boxing for.
"It's amazing to be in the athlete's village and to be able to soak up the atmosphere. We went up there to get our kit last week and that's when it started to sink in a little bit.
"It probably won't be until I finish my career that I'll stand back and think 'wow, what a big event that was'. Everything was new at the Olympics and it wasn't until after you left the village that you realised how special it had been.
"It will be quite strange that we're not Team GB in this. The likes of Andrew Selby (Wales) and Josh Taylor (Scotland) are part of the GB squad but we'll still be cheering them on even though they will be representing their own countries this time."