Cork boxing delegates to be presented with a report outlining the future needs of the sport and what needs to be rectified

The Cork Boxing Board suggests that they must now attract future athletes by going out into the community. 
Cork boxing delegates to be presented with a report outlining the future needs of the sport and what needs to be rectified

Boxers and Coaches from the Cork Ladies Boxing Academy pictured in the City Hall with Christina and Deputy Lord Mayor Cllr Joe Kavanagh. Picture: Doug Minihane

A report to further improve the standard of Cork boxing will be presented to club delegates at the next full meeting of the County Board.

This is a study that complements the clubs and coaches on what they have achieved over the last six years.

However, it also identified serious anomalies which need to be addressed and suggests that a complete change of mindset is needed by all clubs in certain areas.

Today, all sports are being marketed at the highest level to attract young male and female athletes. 

Therefore, now more than ever, there must be an awareness by boxing officials at all levels to respond accordingly.

The plan points out that the days of boxing clubs in Cork and elsewhere waiting to see who comes through the gym doors for training must be regarded as part of our past.

The Cork Board suggests that we must now attract athletes by going out into the community. 

However, this will be only achieved if the clubs in each locality have properly structured committees.

It is fundamental that that club committee must have a liaison officer and a PRO who will liaise with schools, community associations and youth clubs.

This will provide an opportunity for many youngsters to be invited to their local boxing clubs and afforded the opportunity of being attracted to the sport.

The Cork Olympic Centerary Celebration (1914-2014) at Bishop Lucey park, organised by Cork Ex Boxers Association. /Olympian Kieran Joyce (Los Angelas 1984 and Seoul 1988) and JJ Murphy, Chairman Cork Ex Boxers Association. 
The Cork Olympic Centerary Celebration (1914-2014) at Bishop Lucey park, organised by Cork Ex Boxers Association. /Olympian Kieran Joyce (Los Angelas 1984 and Seoul 1988) and JJ Murphy, Chairman Cork Ex Boxers Association. 

This will create greater opportunities for clubs. Regional development officials will be operating and appointed by the Cork Board.

Details of their roles have already been published in this column three months ago. 

The plan suggests that clubs are encouraged to arrange information nights where the full running of the club will be explained to both the athletes and parents.

It is believed that with this type of hands-on approach, boxing numbers in all clubs will increase.

From this increased pool of boxers, the sport on Leeside will enhance the prospect of developing athletes to the highest standards.

Over the last five years, Cork boxing has enjoyed a magnificent harvest of All-Ireland underage success.

Cork clubs have also delivered European gold, silver and bronze medals. 

Significantly, the greatest progress of all was made when Cork delivered five Elite titles after the famine of 16 years of waiting.

The Board's studies concentrate on developing what it considers to be the true ethos of amateur boxing.

This will consist of monitoring the boxers' progress, taking their educational needs into consideration and providing opportunities to avail of sporting grants to third level institutions.

Cork boxing, under the terms m of this plan, expects to see numerous boxers challenge each year for Elite titles. 

This is a foundation stone for the sport's future on Leeside and will provide all clubs involved with a proper structure to advance their prospects in the sport.

It will also enormously enhance the opportunities for Cork boxers to qualify for the Olympic Games. 

It is now over 20 years since the last Cork Boxer participated at an Olympiad when Michael Roche (Sunnyside BC) represented his city and country in Sydney 2000.

An Olympic gold medal is the greatest prize in world amateur sport. Ireland has produced two Olympic boxing champions, Michael Carruth at Barcelona 1992 and Katie Taylor at London 2012.

Paddy McSweeney, President of the Cork Ex-Boxers Association, shows the Jack McAuliffe Medal, to Cork professional boxer Gary 'Spike' O Sullivan.
Paddy McSweeney, President of the Cork Ex-Boxers Association, shows the Jack McAuliffe Medal, to Cork professional boxer Gary 'Spike' O Sullivan.

Carruth's gold medal has come to Cork on many occasions since he claimed it also most thirty years ago. 

Carruth has always been very generous with his time and very obliging when requested to travel to Cork for functions.

He always publicly displays his Olympic medal and has no difficulties with standing in for pictures with young boxers and signing autographs.

One sad side to his success has been highlighted on many occasions by Michael O'Brien, President of the Cork Board, who has constantly criticised the IABA for not properly celebrating the Olympic success of Carruth and Taylor.

O'Brien believes that every young boxer when they enter the National Stadium should be star struck and inspired by two busts of our Olympic champions in the foyer.

Sadly, however, this is not the case. 

Regardless, O'Brien is confident that Cork boxing will continue to raise the bar and this new plan for clubs, if executed properly, will help to provide many future Cork Olympic boxers. 

Copies of this plan following the meeting will be made available to all clubs which will provide an opportunity which will be provided for all to study its contents and make changes if needed.

If the good will amongst club continues to exist and the clubs cooperate with and acknowledge the contribution, they can make to the foundation of Cork boxing the sport will be solidly cemented to produce the highest standard of boxers and clubs who will take their place proudly in their local communities.

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