DE COURCEY Boxing Club, located in the heart of picturesque Ballinspittle, have recently outlined ambitious plans for the future of the club.
Established four years ago, the unit set up its base on the ground of De Courcey GAA club.
Here, they were facilitated by the GAA unit and developed a gym which they continued to improve over the last four years.
However, with 30 boxers affiliated, they are now at maximum levels with the current premises.
Head coach Will Rossall was quick to point out that the GAA club were outstanding neighbours and landlords.
In addition to the current membership, the club had a waiting list for over 30 potential boxers.
To facilitate this, they are hoping to move to bigger premises in the future.
Since their foundation in 2018. the club has enjoyed success at County and Provincial levels.
De Courcey's are constantly striving to improve standards.
The club are working with boxers who are now beginning to fully understand the levels of commitment required for boxing.
Recently, the unit were delighted to have their first national finalists.
Alana Harrington did the club proud after she was narrowly defeated in a Girl 3 final.
However, she is also a back-to-back County and Munster champions and her recent performance at the National Stadium has lifted the club and raised the profile of its boxers.
Will Rossall expressed his thanks and gratitude to Paul Buttimer of the Northside BC who assisted the club at ringside.
De Courcey's have excellent coaches in Nicola O'Riordan and Tighe O' Donovan.
Rossall also was also loud in his praise for the work of committee members Pauline O'Regan, Owen Irwin, and Fionna Rossall.
The club has a weekly training schedule of three evenings and complement this with spars at various clubs which gives experience to their young boxers which will assist them in competition and Championships.
Over the last couple of years, this has been a very successful way of advancing each boxer's individual potential.
Apart from the outstanding progress of Harrington, the club had also delighted in the success of Lisa O'Donovan, who is an Esker Boxing Cup gold medalist, Peter Lawlor is the current holder of a Cork Championship medal and Finnian Smith is a double County and Munster boxing champion.
The club is still in its infancy and has made a big impact in the local community.
They have earned the respect of all the sporting bodies and have been publicly acknowledged by pubic and business leaders for their sporting contribution to the local landscape.
In 2018 the Cork Ex-Boxers Association (CEBA) made an official visit to the club.
The late Tim O'Sullivan, who was then President of CEBA, made a special presentation on of a plaque to the club.
During that visit Tim, a former international boxer, addressed all the young boxes in the club that night.
Amongst the many things that he spoke about the one that stood out most was he told them the importance of the double L.
This, he explained, was listen and learn.
Looking to the future the head coach is confident the club has now established a solid foundation.
He also thanked many of the clubs throughout Cork for their help and assistance in recent times.
However, he expressed great disappointment with many of the current activities going on within the IABA.
He said the time has come for many of the people to move on.
He described their behavior as appalling and said the time that come for the sport to breath in clean fresh air.
Identifying the National Stadium, Will Rossall said this was the only purpose-built boxing stadium in the world, that we should be proud of its iconic status.
"When you enter the reception area of the Stadium you are met with blank walls which display no pride, no character or no history.
"Sadly, this got worse recently when we could not even box in our own stadium because it had been hired out to pantomimes and other promotions."
However, he identified one man who has raised the bar for all Irish people to take pride in our sport and that man was the head coach Zaur Antia.
He said this man had put pride back into the Irish flag at Olympic level.
He coached Olympic, World and European champions for many years now.
He has kept his boxers focused during all the difficulties that Irish boxing was engaged in and his has won the hearts of an Irish nation for a man who came here twenty years ago from Georgia.
Will Rossall believes that Zaur Antia was the messiah that saved Irish boxing.