GWENT’S Rosie Eccles has vowed that she is “ready to go out and achieve what I know I can achieve” after her place at this summer's Paris Olympics was confirmed on Friday.

And her opponents in the French capital should not underestimate the Chepstow welterweight who has spent a lifetime refusing to accept no for an answer.

The 27-year-old spent months as a teenager sneaking out of the house in the early hours of the morning to train when her parents would not let her.

It is testament to her determination that nothing could halt her ambitions to jump in the ring and begin a journey that has led her to become a two-time Commonwealth Games medallist and now an Olympian.

“I would go to bed in my clothes, sneak out at three in the morning and ride my moped to Newport, which took me the best part of an hour,” she explained.

“I would wheel it down the road obviously, because I didn't want anyone to hear me starting it, then I would train, ride back, get in bed for 15 minutes and then go to school.

“I got caught after a couple of months and I think [my parents] realised I was so stubborn with it I was going to do it anyway, so they may as well let me go to a local gym.

“Even that for me was a challenge as I rang up the man who had run the gym for sort of 30-odd years and he said, 'I don’t train girls'.”

Eccles was adamant and persisted by knocking on the gym door at Chepstow ABC, continuing to ring until she was allowed to watch a session and finally given the chance to join in.

But it was not that simple for a club that had never seen a young girl step into the ring, and Eccles was literally put in the kitchen to get changed in her early days.

“[The coach] must have seen something as he went from 'I don't train girls' to reading me the riot act, basically,” added Eccles, who is one of more than 1,000 elite athletes on UK Sport’s National Lottery-funded World Class Programme.

“I couldn't shower because they didn’t have a girls’ changing rooms, I got changed in the kitchen before I went home.

“But then I got multiple changing room promotions because then I was promoted to the back shower, then the back changing room over my time there.”

From there, Eccles changed the entire perception of Chepstow ABC and inspired a new wave of female participants not just in her hometown, but all over Wales.

“In my first fight at 16, I won the novice Welsh title,” she added. “And since then, other girls have gone to the gym and boxed for the club.

“I think it’s important to lead by example and not act any different.”

Eccles suffered nerve damage ahead of her Tokyo 2020 Olympic qualifier, losing to welterweight Saadat Dalgatova and was unable to requalify even after the Games were delayed.

Heartbroken by her fate, she returned even stronger and won European Games bronze in 2023 to secure her spot at Paris 2024.

“I’m ready to go out and achieve what I know I can achieve,” she said.

“I’ve waited my whole life for this. I've had plenty of ups and downs, but all that heartache is only going to help.”