Sandy Ryan: Olympic boxing hopeful considered quitting sport during lockdown

Sandy Ryan
Sandy Ryan won a world silver medal in her first major senior tournament in 2014

Great Britain boxer Sandy Ryan says she considered quitting the sport following the postponement of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games earlier this year.

The 27-year-old Commonwealth Games champion was focused on competing in her first Olympics and said its delay adversely affected her mental health.

"It kind of messed with my head," she told BBC Radio Derby.

"Something came over me. I didn't really want to do it any more, boxing. I lost focus, I lost my love for it."

Ryan, who won welterweight gold at the 2018 Commonwealth Games and silver as a light welterweight the AIBA Women's World Boxing Championships in 2014, said her mental health struggles left her with little motivation, which led to weight gain during lockdown.

Opening up about her problems to her brother, as well as a new fitness regime and diet, has since helped her regain her drive and passion for the sport and got her into career-best shape.

"I was in a very low place," Ryan said. "When you are at a top level, you need the right people around you, and I definitely found that.

"I've never been in this shape before, and I've been in good shape.

"It's all a learning process, I'm in a good frame of mind now."

Ryan hopes that going public with her personal struggles helps others in similar situations.

She added: "It is good to let people know because if there are people struggling out there and they are holding it back, it shows that it can happen to anyone even people at the top of their game, like it did with me.

"It's good to show people so they can open up themselves."