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Boxer Tommy Coyle is used to enduring punches in the ring, but he faced a barrage of a different kind when he was interviewed by Hull schoolchildren today.
Tommy was guest of honour at a Hull Children’s University Ambassador’s event at KCOM’s Learning Zone on Carr Lane, during which he answered questions from year three pupils from St James’ Academy, in east Hull.
Among the questions posed to the 27-year-old fighter were: “Why did you start boxing?”, “Where do you keep your trophies?”, “What would you do if you weren’t a boxer? and “Does it hurt when you get punched?”.
After finishing the Q&A, Tommy spent time signing autographs, posing for photographs with the children and dishing out high-fives.
“It’s my job to give something back to the community, which has supported me not only in victory but in defeat too,” Tommy said afterwards.
”The next generation are going to look after my children so it’s my job to give back to the community. The children asked some good questions.”
Among those to quiz Tommy were eight-year-olds Poppy Edwards and Broady Parker.
Poppy said: “I was shocked when I saw it was Tommy Coyle. I watch boxing all the time with my dad and I’ve always wanted to meet a boxer – so to meet Tommy was great. My dad will be very jealous.
“Tommy was such a nice guy. He’s a real Hull hero. I think the best thing I learnt from him was never to give up and to keep trying and trying.”
Broady added: “I was speechless when Tommy walked in. We had been learning about him before he arrived and he’s a really good boxer, so to meet him was special.
“He’s a cool guy. I think the most important thing I learnt was how many belts he has won.”
Tommy also took the opportunity while at Carr Lane to see a van bearing his name, as part of KCOM’s initiative to name all of its 95 vans after famous people from Hull during the Hull 2017 UK City of Culture year.
“I’m a kid off the estate that, four or five years ago, was selling fruit and vegetables and now people are naming vans after me!” Tommy said.
“It’s very humbling, it’s very nice to be considered a sporting figure that people support. Thank you so much to the people that voted for me, I’m not the greatest of fighters but I always give 100 per cent and I’ll always try to give back to the city.”