Lauren Price: British and Olympic boxing champion gives advice about coming out as gay in new Sky Sports documentary

November 28, 2023

Boxing is a "lonely sport", says Lauren Price - so having a partner who fully understands both you and the fight game is more than a bonus.

In a new short film produced by Sky Sports Boxing that puts Price's inspirational sporting journey so far in focus, the Welsh champion explains how fortunate she feels to have met her match outside of the ring.

The 13-minute documentary, available to watch now on YouTube, sees the 29-year-old talking about the strong relationships that have forged her fiery determination to be the best.

Price will be back in action live on Sky Sports on December 10, when she takes on Silvia Bortot of Italy on the undercard of Chris Billam-Smith vs Mateusz Masternak in Bournemouth.

Among those who appear in the film are her nan, Linda Jones, who with her husband began raising their grand-daughter from just three days old.

The title - 'The Lucky One' - reflects Price's sentiment of being blessed in the way that her life has played out.

Viewers also meet Andrew Needs, who coached the local football team that Price joined when she was eight.

A talented player, she went on to win more than 50 international caps at Under-16, Under-17, Under-19 and senior levels before leaving the sport to concentrate on the 2014 Commonwealth Games.

Her aunt Alison Morris, local schoolchildren and even the high-street butcher - all from Ystrad Mynach just north of Cardiff, where Price grew up - feature too, as the story unfolds about how this small town girl who showed outstanding talent in multiple sports became a symbol of national pride and began to achieve boxing renown.

In May, Price maintained her 100 per cent winning record in her fourth fight as a professional, beating Kirstie Bavington in Birmingham to win the first women's British championship in boxing history.

It’s been two years since she stood on the Olympic podium to receive her gold medal in Tokyo, and with that ambition fulfilled, a world title shot is starting to come into clearer view. In particular, she will be keeping a close eye on the Natasha Jonas vs Mikaela Mayer IBF welterweight world title fight on January 20.

"I feel I'll settle into being a top professional," says Price in the film. "I believe in myself and I believe I can be the best to come out of it."

When Price went to Japan, she was already in a relationship with fellow Team GB athlete Kariss Artingstall. Since then, they have bought a house together near the Sheffield gym where they both train and - unsurprisingly - have picked up the 'power couple' tag along the way.

Price's own process of coming to terms with her sexuality is a wholly positive one, grounded in the LGBTQ+-inclusive environments so often fostered in women's team sports. Again, she feels fortune favoured her in that regard.

"I was quite lucky," she explains. "I came out as being gay when I was 13 years of age.

"I was in the football setup - even though I was young, I played in an older age group - and a lot of my friends were already out, so I felt like I had that support. But I know not everyone's experience is obviously like that."

After the Olympics Price and Artingstall's relationship became more widely known and they have embraced being visible, boxing on the same bill once, appearing at events and posting updates on their busy schedules to social media.

That can bring the kind of additional scrutiny that puts off other LGBTQ+ sportspeople from letting the public into that part of their lives.

In addition, the wider perception from many observers is that homophobia is still prevalent in most sporting environments. A recent Walnut ICM survey for the charity Stonewall, which runs the Rainbow Laces campaign currently receiving its annual activation across UK sport, reflects this.

Only a third (33 per cent) of those responding to the survey agreed that competitive sport is a welcoming environment for gay and bisexual male sports personalities. When the same question was asked about lesbian and bi female sports personalities, the result was only slightly higher - 36 per cent.

Price appreciates how these concerns and assumptions affect gay athletes and contribute towards keeping many of them in the closet, along with other factors such as the increasing toxicity on some social media platforms.

"Being in sport, it's a lot harder because you've got a lot of eyes on you, you're in the media and these days there is a lot of hate online especially," she says.

However, her message to fellow LGBTQ+ athletes is to shut out that noise as much as possible and stay true to friends and family.

"For me, I'm just a big believer in the ones closest to your heart,” she adds. "As long as they support you, don't worry about anyone else."

Watch the documentary 'Lauren Price: The Lucky One' in full on Sky Sports Boxing YouTube now.

Sky Sports is a member of TeamPride which supports Stonewall's Rainbow Laces campaign, currently receiving its annual activation from November 25 to December 10.

Your story of being LGBTQ+ or an ally could help to make sport everyone's game - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to discuss further.

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