Walk of Fame: Issy Boffey

European U18, U20 and U23 800m champion

Isabelle Boffey winning in Birmingham May 2022.
Photo credit: Mark Shearman

Issy got involved in athletics in primary school, joining her local club at age 10. Although keen to try everything, it quickly became apparent that she was a runner, and she competed at youth district leagues, local, school and county competitions.
Her first English Schools’ experience in 2013 saw her finish 201st in the Cross Country Championships. She bettered this by two places in 2014, before finishing 3rd in her heat in the 800m at English Schools’ AA Track & Field Championships that summer.
2015 saw a step change, now an U17, Issy won the English Schools’ 800m recording a PB, at the time, of 2:07.86.

Issy won gold at the European U18 Championships in Tbilisi in 2016. In 2017 she captained the England Team alongside Sam Bennett at the Commonwealth Youth Games, finishing 4th in the 800m final. She took European U20 800m gold in 2019 and European U23 800m gold in 2021, as well as a gold in the 4x400m relay.

Issy’s first Senior competition was the 2021 European Indoor Championships in Poland, where she finished 6th in the 800m. The following year, she won 1000m gold at the Birmingham Indoor Grand Prix. In 2023 won her first national 800m title at the British Indoor Championships, before running a sub-two-minute 800m in Madrid, a major personal goal.

Issy is running in an era when women’s 800m across the UK is very strong. There are six female athletes from currently vying a Team GB vest and Issy is one of them. She qualified for the 2023 World Athletics Championships in Budapest ahead of former Olympic finalist Alex Bell, though this decision by the selectors caused such backlash from some corners of social media that Issy removed herself from all platforms for a while. Ultimately her dream is to become an Olympian, and a champion. At 23 years old, there is time yet.

Issy’s English Schools’ reflections:

English schools was my first ‘away from home’ athletics competitions experience. Travelling with the whole team can be an overwhelming, but I am still surrounded by the friends I made whilst competing today! My advice to any athlete competing this year is to embrace the entire experience, you’ve worked hard and earned your place on the team so be proud.

For more information about the England Athletics Talent Pathways,
including Youth and Paralympic pathways, and for information about the
Amateur Athletic Association Charity for the Young funding opportunities,
use the links below

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Research: Ben Costello