A NEW generation of Keady boxers have vowed not to throw in the towel until successful in tapping into a £3m prize fund specifically set aside for the sport;
And weighing in behind the members of the Sean Doran Boxing Club are Sinn Fein MLA Cathal Boylan and local Councillor Darren McNally. Both visited St Patrick’s Youth Club in Keady to see for themselves the facilities currently available to the young people hoping to carry on the town’s proud and impressive boxing tradition.
They did so after Sports Minister Caral Ni Chuilin pledged a £3m investment in amateur boxing. And they promised to be there every step of the way as the club goes forward in hope.
“This cash injection will be an unbelievable boost for a sport which has long been under-funded,” said Mr Boylan. “It is only through the voluntary work of people like Chris Fullerton and Marty Reneghan here in Keady that the club has been kept alive. I think this club would be very deserving of extra funding and I will be doing everything I can to help them access it.”
Keady Boxing Club was founded 31 years ago by the late Sean Doran, who passed away in 2008 and whose name it now carries, an inspirational and passionate sportsman and coach who trained dozens of fine young champions, Ulster and Irish.
Now with in the region of 30 members, it is one of the most successful sports groups in the area, and yet the facilities are in need of a makeover.
Coach Chris Fullerton said they would still have to look at the criteria for submitting an application, but members certainly wanted to be “on the ball for it” when it comes to going forward.
He explained: “We really need new equipment and a competition ring. Every time you run a show you have to hire out a ring and store it. We got some new equipment four years ago but it is near enough done. There are even holes in the gloves! We manage, but the kids would like better stuff.”
Today Chris and Marty are keeping Sean Doran’s dreams alive. Long hours are still spent at the gym and on the road, travelling to championships, tournaments and international club events, ensuring that the young boxers will have the best possible opportunity of carving out promising careers in the sport.
Town Councillor Darren McNally added: “This club is dedicated to the memory of Sean Doran, who worked tirelessly to promote boxing here in Keady. This funding could provide a way of building on the work that he did.”