Amateur boxing has take a hit in the public eye with Katie Taylor, Michael Conlan and Paddy Barnes taking to the pro ranks but the sport continues and the search is already well underway to unearth the next stars ready to shine at European, World and Olympic level.
It has always in the past proven to be challenging to find commercial sponsors for the sport. It’s a major objective within the IABA Strategic Plan published in December and yesterday could perhaps been seen as a small step along the way.
Tickets.ie are sponsoring a Dublin team of 17 young boxers travelling to Boras in Sweden this weekend to compete in ‘The Golden Girls Championships’, one of Europe’s premier female amateur boxing tournaments.
“Through my own personal involvement with Baldoyle Boxing Club I got to hear about the Dublin team travelling to the Golden Girls Championships in Sweden,” said Tickets.ie CEO John O’Neill.
“I saw first-hand the dedication, commitment and level of preparation that these young ladies, their families and their trainers have put into boxing.”
“Some of their stories and the sacrifices they have made are truly inspirational. These young ladies are national role models for girls’ participation in sport. With the right support, they have the potential to become our future Olympians and sporting heroes.”
“Tickets.ie wants to help them on that journey. I wish them the very best of luck in Sweden and hope as many people as possible get behind our golden girls.”
Last year’s Dublin contigent performed extremely well at The Golden Girls Championships with a medal tally of 6 gold, 8 silver and wins in the best youth and team categories. This year’s team has boxers from Baldoyle BC, Trinity BC, Cherry Orchard BC, Drimnagh BC, Corrintians BC, Esker BC, St Saviours, St Bernadettes and Cabra BC. Head coaches Christy Dunne and Frankie Murphy as well as the Team Manager Ronan Kelly will accompany the group to Boras.
276 boxers have entered the 2017 tournament, coming from Finland, England, Russia, Kazakstan, Sweden, Ireland, Denmark, Norway, Canada, Germany, Hungary, Montenegro, Scottland, Holland, Belarus, france, Italy, Armenia, Switzerland, Slovakia.
The support from Tickets.ie goes into the pot bolstered from fundraising and supported by the Dublin County Board of the IABA.
“I’m 16 years old and I’ve been boxing since 2012,” said Carmen Mavrodin speaking to Sport for Business before departing for Sweden.
“I won my first All Ireland title in 2014 and it was the best day of my life.”
“Since then I have won two Dublin titles and the Monkstown Cup which is an international event two years in a row.”
“I won two fights in Sweden last year, which both were by knock out in the first round. I’ve also won two fights in France and one of the girls Ia bet was a European bronze medalist.”
“The one thing I love about boxing is meeting new people that become life friends and you also get to travel and see the world.”
“Before I joined boxing i was just a normal girl that had done nothing with herself and had no dreams or goals and had no confidence in herself.”
“One day my Dad brought me to a boxing club and I did not want to go at all. It was a Sunday and I was all dressed up in a pair of jeans and had my makeup done and everything.”
“I wanted to go spend my Sunday wondering the streets but instead my Dad insisted. It was one of the best things he has ever done for me.”
“After that I fell in love with the sport. Now a few years on and I’m a different person. I’m now someone who has a purpose. I now have achieved so many things and I have goals.”
“I want to see the world doing what I love the most and I know I will if I keep believing in myself. I still have my downs. Everyone does. But as soon as I go into my boxing club and see my club mates and my coaches faces and I get to punch someone around the ring that’s when I forget about the bad things.”
“Knowing that I have the courage to go into that ring and fight my heart out and to come out with a smile just makes me the happiest girl in the world.”
“With boxing I just feel like a sombody, everyone knows me as the girl that does boxing and that is just the best feeling in the world. Boxing really did change my life because I will always know that my family, friends and coaches are proud of what I do and most importantly I’m proud. I’m proud of what I do and I advise everyone to do boxing because there is no better achievement than going into that ring and getting your hand raised when youve just won a fight.”
“Because that’s when you know the blood sweat and tears were worth it and that’s why the sport is so amazing… Its because it just makes you feel amazing and there is no better feeling than that.”
There could be no better words, no better example of why it is so important to make sure girls are given every opportunity in sport.”
You can follow the Golden Girls progress on Twitter @ourgoldengirls and #gold4dublin.