An RAF Warrant Officer who took up boxing to beat the school ground bullies will lead out the England Boxing team at the opening ceremony of the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Australia…
Sick of unpleasant comments and the threat of violence hanging over him, 10-year-old Daz Chapple took up the contact sport at his local gym in Saltash, Cornwall so he could look after himself.
Now, almost 40 years later, Daz, who is based at Defence, Equipment and Support (DE&S) – the government’s procurement agency – has been selected as Team Leader of Team England.
Daz, who lives in Bristol, said: “I came from a tough background, was bullied at school and decided I needed to protect myself. I saw an advert at my school, which happened to have a national schoolboy champion at the time, and I decided there was no reason I couldn’t follow in his footsteps.”
As soon as he started training, Daz fell in love with the sport and went on to make several national semi-finals in the 51kg division. At 18 he joined the RAF as an aerial erector and walked straight into the RAF boxing team.
After being posted to Germany for four years he returned to the UK and to the ring but, such was his love for the sport, soon found himself juggling being a boxer, coach and team manager as well as having to fulfil all his commitments in his role with the Armed Forces.