Every so often I meet a young inspirational person who completely takes my breath away.
Sophia Bhaumick is one such individual. From an outcast at school, to captaining the Men’s rowing team— Sophia has travelled extensively, and whilst volunteering in the Philippines after a major typhoon, her life was to take a sudden and unexpected turn when she suffered a horrendous assault.
In this hard hitting and very personal interview, Sophia explains how the hard times she has suffered have given her the strength to follow her desire to become a leading light in the tough world of men’s professional boxing.
“I kind of realized that I need to do something with the ability that I had – to spot talent, and to push—I’m very good at pushing people”[3:33]
Sophia had an interesting childhood which involved living on a farm, learning to break horses, but also included a fair amount of time at boarding school. She didn’t care much for the school itself, but it did introduce her to a wide range of sports—one which she would become captain of: the rowing team. Her dedication to working with the athletes one on one, her drive, and her personality drove her from a young age to work with athletes.[14:16]
Sophia ended up in the Philippines after a major typhoon, volunteering to rebuild schools on an island. Her drive to be hands on in making change instead of throwing money at the problem was clearly apparent. She fell in love there and was going to move to the island and stay, but something awful happened in her final days there that changed her life forever. In fact, it was an assault that was not only committed against her, but many other women and children. Sophia then took it upon herself to build centers to advocate for change and help victims of this heinous crime who had nowhere to go.
“I remember being sat at the beach after this had happened, and I remember thinking ‘It’s decision time’ either you are going to be a victim—and you’re going to go down a horrible route, or you’re going to take the much harder road and help these people and deal with it.”[19:14]
Exposing an awful experience like this wasn’t something easily done alone, highlighting the failings of an entire organization and island. But she was lucky to know three prominent boxers who all wanted to help make a change—and there were too many others affected to sit back and do nothing. In her search to create a space and platform for healing and growth at Reading University—Sophia found herself diving further into the world of boxing.[26:10]
The story of Sophia entering boxing isn’t one she’s told before—but it involves her deciding to become a strength and conditions coach. It was a path that led her to helping out many amateur boxers and pushing them through the red tape at the British Boxing Board of Control—elevating an amateur boxer to pro in the process.
Feb 28th – Camden Market and Tri Yoga and Sophia’s boxing club is putting on an exhibition on the behalf of mental health awareness. There will be exercises and workshops and talks all involved—all which shows Sophia is succeeding in tying together athletics and mental health, a union she doesn’t see going away anytime soon.