MUCH of the emphasis in Irish Sport will once again spotlight on next year’s Olympic Games in Paris.
Many sports will be represented, but most sports enthusiasts will look to the boxers to deliver the medals.
Since 1924 the boxers have represented Ireland at the Games returning with 18 medals three of which were Gold, Michael Carruth in 1992, Katie Taylor in 2012 and Kellie Harrington in 2020.
The GAA, Soccer and Rugby are the three most popular sports in this Country and provide magnificent competition and entertainment, however, these are all field games where teams participate as groups.
They are supported by various sporting and Government grants.
Many of the small Clubs who make up over 95% of those participating are provided with pitches and fields by Local Authorities such as City Councils or County Councils.
Boxing however while receiving sporting grants are not supported in the provision of boxing clubs or gyms, this create great difficulties for the sport who provide Ireland’s top Olympians.
A boxing club can be established and run by a very successful Committee, but they must first find a Hall or premises.
In the current climate this is becoming more and more difficult, they are now challenged by very high rents.
They may get no lease or at the best a short review lease, then another huge hike in their rent or a notice to quit know as an eviction order.
Today the sport of boxing was never more challenged.
Government and Local Authorities must provide greater assistance.
The IABA in Dublin must set up a sport review body. Affiliated clubs in this Country today could be lost by up to 50% in the next five years, as many are in a very precarious position where renting and premises are concerned, the clock is ticking.
Meanwhile, on Friday 5th May next, Tommy Kelleher of the Glen Boxing Club, will be presented with the Cork Indoor Sport Boxing Award.
On two occasions in the past Tommy was nominated for this Award but declined in favour of another recipient.
This Award was due to be presented in 2020 but was cancelled due to the Covid Pandemic.
This is the 60th anniversary of the Awards having commenced in 1963.
The Award dinner will once again take place at the Metropole Hotel.
This Organisation has been very successful and consistent since its inception.
The Chairman Tim Harte has given Trojan service to the promotion of these indoor sports which cater for all sports, from boxing to karate, judo, gymnastics, rings, darts and many others.
This is a great opportunity each year for the people who excel at these sports or for those who have given many years, as Coaches or Administrators to receive recognition.
In nominating Tommy Kelleher for this years Boxing Award, the sport can be proud of their nominee, who has achieved so much over the years.
On the week of the Awards a profile of Tommy Kelleher’s boxing career will be published on Tuesday’s boxing column.
In the National Stadium last weeks the boys and girls 1, 2 and 3 Championships continued.
Cork Clubs enjoyed moderate success. However, in an over All Context in All Categories Cork Boxers are returning to Leeside with many National Titles, the draws for the junior 1 and 2 have not been made at the time of writing, however, when all Championships are complete this column will fanfare Leeside’s National Boxing Champions.
Following the news in last week page, that the De Courcey Boxing Club had moved to Bandon, there was a great response from readers. Many recalled the Great Boxers produced by the last Bandon Club.
There appears to be a great welcome for the De Courcey Boxing Club in the town, and if they can cater for the numbers wishing to join De Courcey Boxing Club has many great days ahead, where the excellent work of Will Rossall and his Committee will be fully acknowledged by a community who have over many years made a great contribution to the sport.
The Cork Ex-Boxers Association are due to meet again next month.
It is expected that the members will discuss the completion date for renovation work in Bishop Lucey Park, marking the Centenary of Irelands participation in the Olympics in 1924.
Cork were represented by Willie ‘Boy Murphy, Mossie Doyle and Jim Kelleher.
The Cork Ex-Boxers have made direct contact with all three Families and will organise an event which will honour all of Corks Olympians who participated in the Games over the century.
The meeting will also discuss the organising of a Boxing Breakfast to present the Annual Cork Ex-Boxers Association Hall of Fame Award.
In time honoured tradition, the President of CEBA has the privilege to select and name the recipient of this year’s prestigious Award.
This year the honour will fall to the current President Derry McCarthy.
At the recent Glen Boxing Club Tomas Mac Curtain Commemoration in the City Hall, the Tánaiste Micheál Martin referenced the great work the Cork Ex-Boxers Association has been doing over the last 50 years and extended his best wishes for continued success to an Association his father helped to set up in 1972.