A FLEDGLING Southside boxing club has been celebrating after two of its young fighters, who are twin brothers, recently picked up All-Ireland medals in their respective weight divisions.
Angels Boxing Club on the Heather Road in the Sandyford Industrial Estate was founded in late 2009 by experienced boxing coach Reg Byrne.
The relatively new club celebrated a double success recently when twin 16-year-old brothers, Sean and Paddy Headon from Foxrock, won All-Ireland titles in the flyweight and bantamweight divisions respectively at the National Stadium on the South Circular Road.
Marty Carr (28), from Ballinteer, was also runner up in his All-Ireland final bout in the middleweight division on the same evening.
The chairman of the club, Shane Kelly (31) from Dundrum, who is also a coach, said the wins represented a huge achievement for them.
“We are only in existence for two years,” he said. “We are hoping for great things now for the twins. Marty’s final fight was the All-Ireland final. There was huge commitment involved in trying to get to that level.”
He said the ultimate goal of Reg Byrne, who has over 25 years’ experience in coaching at various clubs on the Southside is to establish a professional outfit.
At the moment the current club provides a sporting outlet for underprivileged youth in the area.
“His ultimate goal is to have a pro-boxing club and a pro-gym but at the moment it is a grass roots club,” Shane said. “We also have a lot of fantastic boxers and a real diverse spectrum of members.”
He also said the club is largely self-financing and dependent on the efforts of its members to raise funds.
“We run our own charity events,” he revealed. “We pay e26,000 a year for rent and rates for the premises. Our structure of the club involves a nine-man committee. We have a significant Garda membership and we have received a lot of support from the local gardai in Blackrock in relation to sponsorship for medals and so on.
“We also have an affiliation with the Lions Club of Ireland. They have helped us out on a number of occasions with bits and pieces.
“The Irish Amateur Boxing Association has given us some equipment to help buy punch bags and gloves and other bits and pieces as well.
“Every year there is a sports grant as well that is given to the IABA and they distribute that as they see fit but by and large we fund ourselves.”
The name of the club comes from the fact that it is located in the Queen of Angel’s Parish in Sandyford.
It is open to new members, both male and female, who do not pay an annual membership fee but instead pay small sums on an as-you-go basis.
“Anybody under 16 who comes up pays €2 per session and those over 16 pays €5,” Shane explained. “We have a fully equipped gym and we run four or five classes weekly for the boxing. We have youth boxing classes, which are largely for 12 to 16 year-olds and we have senior boxing classes too.”
Anyone interested in joining or who would like to find out more about Angels Boxing Club can email firstname.lastname@example.org or tel 085-7808915.