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Alness woman steps in the boxing ring to battle her way to £1000 boost for Cancer Research UK as Ultra White Collar Boxing makes its mark

By Imogen James

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Sarah Mackay.
Sarah Mackay.

AN Easter Ross woman keen to fight back against the shadow of a disease she feels has dogged her life since childhood took her battle to the boxing ring.

Sarah Mackay, who is from Alness, courageously stepped up to an unusual charity challenge which has raised more than £21,000 for Cancer Research UK.

The plucky 25-year-old was amongst 40 people taking on the Ultra White Collar Boxing (UWCB) challenge at the Ironworks in Inverness.

Boxers in the ring.
Boxers in the ring.

Participants received eight weeks of coaching for the two nerve-racking nights of bouts attended by 700 guests. She admitted: “Everyone was shocked when I started boxing because I’m quite a reserved person. I signed up for UWCB mainly because I lost my friend very young and things like that impact young people.

“My friend Jordan Ross died at 16. Our mums were best friends and we had grown up together. I was 12 when he died.

“I believe it was blood cancer he had, but because I was so young I was just told it was cancer. I wasn’t allowed to see him in his final months because it would have been so traumatic.

“I was really angry at the world when I was younger, constantly getting kicked out of school because I couldn’t understand what had happened. I thought, if I could raise anything to help stop anyone else going through that same process then I would do it. I’ve also had an uncle die from cancer, and both my grandparents were diagnosed with cancer in the same year – though they’re both okay now.

“My auntie, Mary Rae, was diagnosed with cancer in her eye at the end of last year. When I was young I was convinced I would get cancer one day. It feels like the disease has followed me, like it got continually closer.

“UWCB is a great way to fight back. You can do bake sales and things like that, but that’s not going to take you on the emotional and physical journey that Ultra White Collar Boxing does.”

While she lost her bout, her brave effort raised £500 for the charity – and her employer Cairn Housing Association matched it, bringing the total to £1000.

Lots of people took part for charity.
Lots of people took part for charity.

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