IT has now been 14 months since we've seen competitive boxing on Leeside, and the indications for a return soon are far from positive.
The situation has been compounded by an unambiguous message from John Treacy from Sport Ireland, who has stated that there will be no return to boxing until all athletes participating in the sport are vaccinated.
This long delay could see a period of up to two years inactivity.
This precarious situation will create very serious ramifications for the sport in Ireland and, more importantly, in Cork.
Against this background, the Cork County Board have prepared plans to counteract the anticipated fallout from the long lay off.
The Board are proposing to implement a detailed and structured plan which it is hoped will negate much of the difficulties created by the pandemic.
It is now inevitable that the sport will sustain casualties.
As a consequence, Cork may lose clubs, volunteers and most of all athletes.
Some may lose a lot of motivation for the ring, while others may choose another sport and alternative interests.
However, the Cork Board are confident that they have prepared well and were positioned to react to the rocky road ahead.
The recent Sport Ireland Resilience Grants available to clubs and administered by the IABA clearly highlighted many anomalies that need to be highlighted by clubs.
This only applies to a minority of clubs where remedial action is required.
Consequently, all Cork clubs will no longer have their affiliation automatically ratified until they can clearly satisfy the Board that they have a proper club committee in place.
Clubs must produce evidence that they have a club bank or credit union account open and provide evidence that they had have properly minuted AGMs.
If the criterion is not forthcoming, the affiliation will be delayed, and the clubs will be supported by the Board to rectify the matter.
On the resumption of Count Board meetings, Cork will appoint three regional directors to promote and develop boxing within the community.
In addition, the Board will also set up a fundraising committee and a development officer will also be appointed to assist clubs who wish to avail of the various grants and subsidies.
Schools will also be a focal point of the Board's campaign to recruit new athletes.
Here, it is hoped to introduce a campaign that will see coaches unfold a three-phase program which will include non contact, semi-contact and controlled boxing.
Following this, boxers will be introduced to their local clubs.
The Board have also agreed on terms with Cork City Council on a three-year lease on a premise in the region of 6,000 square feet.
The use of this building will be maximised and the Board will run many courses to assist their members and make provision to help other community groups at appropriate times.
The building will have a full-time caretaker, and the Board have requested that consideration be given to appointing a full-time administrator to work on behalf of the County Board.
During the pandemic, that Board has been unable to raise much needed funds and this matter also needs to be addressed.
The matter for a permanent home for Cork boxing has been an issue for many years now and any advancements made have been lost when various Ministers of Sport emerge through new administrations.
It is now hoped that a real progress on a permanent home can be finally made during Mr Martin's tenure as Taoiseach.
He met members of the Board on the 12 of December last, and a more substantial meeting on this issue is planned for next month.
The Board has also secured the voluntary services of business people who will assist from time to time in an ad hoc advisory committee.
It is only in the aftermath of the Covid-19 pandemic that the accurate picture of its collateral to boxing will emerge.
However, the Cork County Boxing Board are on standby, and they are well prepared for the challenges ahead.