Week 183 (15 - 21 April)
Great Britain’s Anthony Joshua’s meteoric rise to the summit of world boxing is an important reminder of the unique ability of sport to impact young people’s lives.
Ahead of Joshua’s world-title defence against boxing legend Wladimir Klitschko next Saturday, Lucozade Sport has released a powerful 90-second film documenting his incredible journey from troubled North London teenager to Olympic gold medallist and IBF heavyweight champion of the world. The journey behind the film communicates the important message that, through sport, young people really can change their lives.
Discussing the film, which has received a hugely positive response online, Lucozade Sport’s head of marketing Steven Hind said: “People want brands and the Government to try and help more. There’s this huge desire for people across the UK to exercise more. We moved towards a more purposeful marketing approach to help inspire and physically help people to lead more active lives.”
The film, which will be aired before Joshua enters the ring, shows how the 27-year-old used sport to turn his life around after a series of run-ins with the police. Determined to distance himself from the negative path he was headed down, Joshua’s focus turned to boxing. Whilst working as a bricklayer in Watford, Joshua trained relentlessly at Finchley Amateur Boxing Club and was quickly identified as a London 2012 prospect. He went on to win Olympic gold before becoming IBF heavyweight champion of the world in just 16 fights.
In the past few years Joshua has become one of Britain’s most popular athletes. Part of this immense popularity is perhaps explained by how relatable his story is to thousands of teenagers across the country, and he is now seen as a role model for those who find themselves in the same position that he was once in.
Reflecting on the film, the ever-humble Joshua, said: “It has been a real journey from growing up in Watford to fighting at Wembley Stadium… Everything in between; all the things I have done and all the people that have supported me, have made me who I am today and this film illustrates that… I am excited to share my journey with my fans and I hope that it inspires the hunger in others.”
With 90,000 packed into Wembley Stadium next Saturday watching the Lucozade Sport film before Joshua walks out, sport’s ability to inspire, to engage and to change lives will never have never been clearer.