The IABA and the High Performance Unit helped its fighters secure the Olympic spotlight and medals in the 2008 Olympics, but failed to prepare them the media spotlight such success brought according to Billy Walsh.
The respected High Performance coach, who has be nominanted for the RTE Sports Manager of the Year Award, revealed they prepared their fighters to deal with everything bar the aftermath of success much to the expense of its fighters and light heavyweight silver medallist Kenny Egan in particular.
The ten time national champion struggled to cope with the attention he received after returning home from Beijing a hero. Egan has only recently recovered from a drink problem and is now bidding to qualify for London 2012.
Wlash revealed steps have now formally been taken to ensure all High Performance fighters are not only armed with the tools to win but will be able to cope with the success and public glare winning brings.
“We just thought it was ‘well done lads, good luck and enjoy it’,” said Billy Walsh was quoted as saying in the Irish Independent.
“We didn’t think anything would happen but people’s lives completely changed. We thought of having the success, but who thought of what you had to deal with in the aftermath? “Kenny became a celebrity overnight and he loved it. He enjoyed it like a normal red-blooded man, got caught up in it and it was hard to come off it. Thankfully he’s well out of it now and it’s 14 or 15 months since he touched a drink.
“We have the wheels in progress to look after that now. We’ve talked about it with our own board and with the Institute of Sport and there will be people to look after athletes before we go and when we come back.”