Last night, Thursday the 18 November 2021, at the Oriam Sports Performance Centre Edinburgh, The Royal Regiment of Scotland (SCOTS) held their Regimental Boxing Event.
This was an internal competition where boxers from four of the Regiment’s regular battalions and one of the Regiment’s reserve battalions competed for individual and battalion pride. The event had been organised following current Government legislation for COVID-19.
This was the fourth iteration of the event, which was first tested in Meadowbank Stadium, Edinburgh in 2014, again in the same venue in 2016 and followed by the Oriam Sports Performance Centre in 2018.
This year the event drew a slightly smaller audience (complying with the maximum allowed capacity of 500) from the Regiment, Regimental Family and invited guests from the community who were welcomed on arrival by a Piper from the 4th Battalion (4 SCOTS) and the Regimental Mascot, a Shetland Pony, Cpl Cruachan IV.
There were ten scheduled bouts and the format was in accordance with the UK Armed Forces Boxing Association regulations and Regimental protocol, competition being organised and controlled under the auspices of the UK Armed Forces Sport Board. The UKAFBA is a member of England Boxing.
The 4 SCOTS Pipes and Drums opened the competition and prior to each bout, boxers were introduced to the waiting crowd by their respective battalion pipe tune before the light show was engaged and the boxer’s personal choice of music covered their short walk to the ring.
This very special occasion was summarised in a final prize giving ceremony with awards being presented to the best – i.e. most skilful – boxer and fight of the night – with both boxers receiving an award.
The Colonel of the Regiment, Lieutenant General NRM Borton DSO MBE, congratulated those gladiators who had the courage to step into the ring and represent both themselves and their battalion, exemplifying the Army’s core values and standards.
To make a success of a military career, the SCOTS soldiers must live by a set of values and standards that include courage, loyalty, honesty, integrity, respect for others and discipline. These values and standards are a handrail for how soldiers should conduct themselves in every aspect of life and they are especially vital to be a successful boxer.
Although most soldiers rarely mention it, they are fiercely proud of their own cap badge. They are loyal to each other and the unit they represent. This loyalty is fostered through the Army’s values and standards from the moment the soldier puts on a uniform. Unit cohesion and loyalty can be challenged daily, on and off the battlefield.
The idea that the team is everything and individuals alone are nothing is enhanced in all military activities. Unit pride and loyalty starts at the very lowest level from living in shared accommodation and working and fighting together in a shell scrape.
The importance of building a team, demonstrating personal and team discipline, nurturing courage and showing respect for your opponent is perfectly replicated in boxing; especially true at the regimental level where the stakes are higher.
Regimental Boxing is boxed at Development Level, with boxers matched on weight and experience. Training between units will vary dependant on operational commitments, however, by the time the boxers are matched they will be at the same level in terms of skill, condition and fitness.
Army boxers are always volunteers; they are subject to the same stringent criteria as a civilian boxer regarding; experience, age, weight and medical condition.
Our thanks go out to The Royal Regiment of Scotland (SCOTS) for extending the invitation to attend this special event.