Paddy Barnes nominated for OFI Athletes’ Commission

Paddy Barnes is among 13 candidates aiming to secure their place on the Olympic Federation of Ireland’s (OFI) Athletes’ Commission.

The Belfast favourite claimed boxing bronze at Beijing 2008 and London 2012, as well as representing Ireland in Rio. The retired fighter is also a double Commonwealth Games champion in the light flyweight division and won medals at two European Championships including gold in 2010.

The Holy Family graduate also carried Ireland’s flag during the Opening Ceremony of the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.

He has now been nominated to run for the Athletes’ Commission election along with 11 other current or former athletes.

The 13-strong candidate list features athletes from 10 sports including rugby sevens players Billy Dardis and Ian Fitzpatrick and swimmers Grainne Murphy and Nicholas Quinn.

Sanita Pušpure, a Latvian-born athlete who has claimed world and European rowing titles in single sculls, is also in the running, as well as fellow Claire Lambe and Olympic medal winner Annalise Murphy.

Race walker Brendan Boyce, canoeist Hannah Craig, hockey player David Harte, modern pentathlon athlete Natalya Coyle and skier Shane O’Connor are also standing in the election.

As O’Connor is the sole nomination from winter sport, the Vancouver 2010 Olympian has gained automatic selection onto the Athletes’ Committee.

The other 12 candidates will battle it out for the remaining seven positions with the successful members due to remain in office until late 2024.

The recruitment process opened before Christmas with Olympians from any of the last four Olympic cycles invited to apply for a position on the commission.

The OFI claimed that candidates outlined a range of aims in their application forms, including improving athlete welfare, mental health, education and support for the athletes.

Jonny Stapleton

Irish-boxing.com contributor for 15 years and editor for the past decade. Have been covering boxing for over 16 years and writing about sport for a living for 19 years. Former Assistant Sports editor for the Gazette News Paper Group and former Tallaght Voice Sports Editor. Have had work published in publications around the world when working as a freelance journalist. Also co-founder of Junior Sports Media and Leinster Rugby PRO of the Year winner. email: editoririshboxing@gmail.com