17 year old James Probert recently added to his already-impressive list of achievements in amateur boxing as he travelled out to the Commonwealth Youth Games in The Bahamas and returned home with a splendid silver medal.

It might even have been gold for James as several respected pundits ringside felt that he had done enough for victory but had to settle for the narrowest of defeats from a split decision of the judges.

As well as his classy ringcraft, what was also very impressive was the fact that he was the youngest competitor in his 49kg weight category, with all his opponents being a year older for boys born in 1999 or 2000.

The amateur boxing was just one of a range of sporting activities in the Commonwealth Games and in the 11 days of overall competition the Noble Art was the last to stage their finals, and so James and Co had a large contingent of fellow Welsh sportsmen cheering him on as he encountered the world champion from India in the final.

Also there to give him total support, as ever,  were his parents; well-known boxing trainer Nathan, himself a Welsh international many years ago, and mum Rachel, who looks after all the administrative side of things on their regular long-distance travel in pursuit of opponents of a quality to test him.

After being selected for the Bahamas' trip, James had to attend several 'training camp' sessions from Mondays to Thursdays where he joined the rest of the six-man squad at the National Centre of Excellence at Sophia Gardens in Cardiff.

"We trained three times a day," James told us, "starting with a 6.30am run and then further afternoon and evening sessions where we sparred, did gym work, weights and conditioning - as tough as I've ever been involved in at any championship, including world and European.

"Then we went for a week to Spain to intensify the training programme and also help get us acclimatised to the heat in The Bahamas.

"It was even more physically demanding since there was no-one else of my weight there to spar with so I had to go into the ring with opponents quite a lot heavier than me - but at least helped me with my footwork and ability to slip powerful punches!"

When they eventually arrived in The Bahamas there was yet more training before James took on his first opponent, Kuvinda Mudiyans, who was the Sri Lankan champion and battled hard but was left chasing shadows as James was a unanimous points’ winner.

It was a similar story in the semi-final as James met a strong Irish boxer called James Molan, who threw big haymakers which James dodged with ease and landed his own punches cleanly to rack up the points so that it came as no surprise that when the result was announced he was a clear winner and had booked his place in the final!

James did his family proud in the final against Sachin Govinder, who was a year older and much taller, but missed out on the top of the podium by a veritable whisker, to the crowd's evident displeasure - but he showed typical sportsmanship in accepting the verdict and congratulating his opponent.

And at least he had his silver medal as a wonderful memento, alongside his full kit of Welsh vest, tracksuit, blazer, tie, shorts, tee shirts and bag emblazoned with the Welsh emblem on them.

There was further recognition for James and the other five Welsh boxers as they were invited to a special function organised by the Welsh Ex-Pro Boxers Association in Cardiff to receive their congratulations - and every Welsh representative in the Commonwealth Junior Games received a special commemorative coin produced at The Royal Mint, Llantrisant, in their honour!

So now it's back to the daily grind of training, with one or two trips each week to the Premier ABC in Swansea with their coach Steve 'Spud' Berry, with dad Nathan doing the rest of his weekly work nearer to home and really putting Probert junior through his paces.

To describe his weekly training routine as ‘Spartan’ might be an understatement because his work in the gym not only means many hours of sparring but warm-up sessions that include lots of work with a skipping rope, which not only gets a sweat on but helps improve his mobility and ability to keep his feet moving him out of trouble in the ring.

This is followed by multi-repetitions of exercises like squat thrusts, press-ups, burpees, sit-ups and loads more, followed by sessions on the speed ball to increase his tempo in throwing sequences of punches.

Throw in more work on the heavy bag which helps increase the solidity of his jabs, hooks and upper-cuts – and just for fun dad throws in miles of road running on their home patch and it is easy to see the total dedication needed to do well at this ultra-high level which has seen him ranked in an amazing third place in the world rankings for his age and weight!

Then it's on to more tough challenges for James Probert which he looks forward to with relish, more travel for mum and dad, whom he understandably says are the best in the world, and the chance to fly the Pembrokeshire sporting flag with distinction, as he did in his recent trek to The Bahamas!