Charlie Flynn credits Youth Games with help in rise

Charlie Flynn winning gold in Glasgow. Picture: Lisa Ferguson
Charlie Flynn winning gold in Glasgow. Picture: Lisa Ferguson
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THE past 11 months have flown by for Glasgow 2014 sensation Charlie Flynn but yesterday he was reflecting even further back, to 2011, as he passed on some wisdom to the Scottish Commonwealth Youth Games team.

The 21-year-old competed at the last Youth Games in the Isle of Man before going on to be one of the stars of the main Commonwealth Games on home soil last summer. After winning the lightweight boxing title at the SSE Hydro and conducting one of the most entertaining post-victory TV interviews in history, the Newarthill fighter has turned pro amid a whirlwind of post-Games publicity. “I know it’s crazy that it’s almost been a year,” said the ‘Mailman’. “I still can’t believe it was four years since I was here involved in the Youth Games. But I’ve never known a year go by so fast as the last one, so much has happened. A lot of coverage and interest in what I’m doing. And people keep reminding you of things so it stays fresh in your mind.”

I fought fighters from England, South Africa and Ghana, and beat them all

Charlie Flynn

Flynn is sure that his Youth Games experience was a key step on the road to Glasgow glory and said: “It’s great. It helps them build their confidence and experience. There’s not a great deal of pressure, but it puts them under the spotlight of a multi-sports tournament and they need to pull off a performance.

“It helped me a lot. I got to the final of the Youth Games and lost, though I thought I’d won it, but that doesn’t matter. The fact I got to that final told me there was nothing stopping me doing it again in the real Games.

“I fought against fighters from England, South Africa and Ghana, all these places, at the Youth Games and beat them all. So there was nothing stopping me doing it in the seniors. It gave me self-belief, self-esteem and confidence.

“When you then come to a senior Games, everything is not as new or scary. You’ve done your dress rehearsal and it’s time to perform. A Youth Games is exciting and fun but the big thing is you can go out and win something, too.”

Flynn has won his first three professional bouts and next month will feature on the undercard of the Anthony Crolla and Scott Quigg world title fights in Manchester.

“I’m feeling confident and super fit,” he said. “It’s up from four rounds to six, so it’s moving up the rounds. But I’ll do six rounds comfortably.”

Ex-postal worker Flynn hasn’t been in to the mail room since Christmas, but is hoping to pop in and see his former workmates in the next week or so.

“Training full-time now is massive,” he said. “You look at what I was doing when I was fitting my training around working and I was still beating everyone. Now to be able to go full-time I can hopefully fulfil my full potential.”

SQUAD

Struan Caughey, 16, Elgin - Archery

George Evans, 17, Inverness - Athletics

Billy Stuart, 17, Aberdeen - Boxing

Richard Hollins, 17, Aberdeen - Squash

Kieran Preston, 18, Aberdeen - Swimming

Carla Banks, 16, Inverurie – Lawn Bowls

Alisha Rees, 16, Banchory - Athletics

Ben Greenwood, 16, Perth - Athletics

Rowan Morrogh Bernard, 14, Pitlochry Weightlifting

Benedict Tortolano, 17, Stirling - Swimming

Rachel Alexander, 17, Glasgow - Athletics

Sean Lazzerini, 17, Glasgow - Boxing

Jason Epton, 14, Glasgow - Weightlifting

Daniel Richardson, 15, Glasgow - Weightlifting

Meg Finnon, 17, East Kilbride - Swimming

William Hutchison, 16, Lanark - Boxing

Kieran McMaster, 18, Kilmarnock - Boxing

Darren Weir, 15, Prestwick – Lawn Bowls

Erin Robertson, 16, Ayr - Swimming

Euan Moore, 17, Fenwick, Ayrshire - Tennis

Biatrice Gabell, 17, Dalry, Ayrshire - Weightlifting

Carrie Hallam, 17, Edinburgh - Squash

Tain Bruce, 17, Dalgety Bay - Swimming

Craig McLean, 16, Livingston - Swimming

Cameron Tindle, 17, Berwick - Athletics

Carys McCauley, 17, Warrington, England – Athletics

*Evelina D’Arcy, 15, Athens, Greece

TBC - one female mixed doubles tennis player