When Irish-boxing.com last spoke with Kerrie Christie almost a year ago, she was busy serving her ‘apprenticeship’ under the guidance of Paschal Collins at the Celtic Warrior Gym in Corduff, West Dublin. The former Lucan BC fighter was busy learning the tricks of the trade from her mentor in Dublin’s most vibrant boxing gym and working towards her goal of becoming Ireland’s first ‘licensed’ female Pro-boxing coach.
With that goal completed when her licence arrived from the BUI in January, Christie has set her sights on bigger things with a new goal of cracking America and becoming one of boxing’s top female trainers.
While chatting with Christie one gets a sense that setting goals, completing them and setting bigger ones is part of her psyche, and with a move to LA imminent to work with former Olympic medalists Tony Jeffries and Wayne McCullough, the sky is the limit. However as she sets off to conquer a new goal in America, she stressed how much ‘her family’ at the Celtic Warrior Gym in Dublin has helped her along the way.
“The Celtic Warrior Gym has been invaluable to me. Packie Collins has been invaluable. I’d still be working in a shop if it wasn’t for Paschal. He gave me chances right from the start. Not everyone who walks into the gym can say I want to learn this or that, teach me everything you know. I spent a good 12 months gaining as much knowledge and experience as I could before I submitted my license application at the end of 2014. I learnt as much as I could off Paschal, watching what happens pre-training camp / training camp / fight night / post fight, how to conduct yourself in a press conference. Also with the psychology side of things, Paschal has so so much knowledge, he makes it all look so easy. It’s not just Paschal, all the fighters too. We really are like a family up there, it’s like I’ve seven or eight brothers that have all taught me something different along the way” said Christie.
A move to a different country and continent is massive for any person but Christie is relishing the opportunity to develop her craft and progress her learning. Not a person to shy away from the hard work it takes to succeed, the goal-setter and go-getter has the desire to go all the way in her chosen field.
On her new adventure in America she said “I will be working with a boxing gym called Box N Burn, in LA. They have two top facilities, in Santa Monica and Brentwood. It is owned by two guys, Olympic medalist and ex pro boxer Tony Jeffries, and Kevan Watson, an American who is considered one of California’s top trainers. They have a great team of trainers around them, Olympic medalists, world champions, elite athletes, an ex pro footballer, and trainers with a wealth of knowledge in different sports and fitness qualifications, so much knowledge coming from all different angles. It’s great for me. I’ll be new to the area and new to the gym so I have to start at the bottom, work hard from the get go, establish myself as a hard worker, let my passion and knowledge shine through and just make a great impact with everyone who walks through the doors and the team I’ll be working with.”
The move to work at Box N Burn also gives Christie the opportunity to work with Irish boxing legend Wayne McCullough – something she is hugely excited about.
“Wayne McCullough works there – I grew up watching him fight and really loved his style, a relentless non stop worker in the ring. Now I’m going to be working alongside him. Mental!”
With goal setting and completion a central feature of the talented trainer’s mindset, she is keen to set new ones that will see her reach the pinnacle of the sport, including being recognised as one of the best female trainers around.
“My goals change every year – once you reach a goal you set a new one. My main goal is to be respected by my peers. So in a few years time, if I could establish myself as one of boxing’s top female trainers, (there’s not many females out there) that’d be a big goal. To have fighters coming to me because they want to improve their fighting skills, or to improve on strength and conditioning components. Not just female fighters, but male fighters too. I’m more experienced with male fighters at the moment. I think it’d be cool to have a female world champion with a female trainer. That would be real cool!”
With a passion for boxing and a drive that has seen her become Ireland’s first female professional trainer, Christie is well on course to her next goal. Who would doubt she will achieve it?