Some of Irish boxing’s top young talent asked the Minister for Sport to help them return to the gym so they can follow their own Olympic dreams.
The IABA recently confirmed the Sports Council has given them the go-ahead to run the National Elite Championships and entrants are allowed to train under guidelines and spar outdoors.
Due to Covid restrictions, those outside the elite level have no competitions to plan for and although they can train under guidelines they are unable to spar with boxers outside their club.
As a result, some of the countries decorated underage talent, Olympic hopefuls themselves, visited Minister for Sport Jack Chambers’ office over the weekend to request they can return to competitive action.
European Youth gold medal winner Chloe Gabriel, Yasmin Meredith a European School Girl gold medal winner, European School Girl silver medal winner Ava Henry, European Youth champion Niamh Fay, European Schoolboy gold medalist Adam Olaniyan and European School Boy medal winner Kai Griffen all asked the Minister to ‘Bring Back Boxing’ and support Ireland’s most successful Olympic sport at the grassroots level.
Ireland has one of the most decorated underage setups in Europe at present but the fear is Irish-based emerging talent is falling behind.
While countries around the world are back to full-time training and are competing, restrictions still apply here. Those fighters that visited the Minister’s office over the weekend are among the best young talents in the world yet haven’t fought in over two years and have spent a large portion of that time out of the gyms and away from the sport.
There are concerns their Olympic prospects may be being damaged with the current state of play while there is a massive willingness for clubs to return to help their communities in the manner in which they did before.