Olympic stars box clever to win
Funding in excess of €2m helps amateur Olympians shine
Any amateur sportsperson who dreams an Olympic dream, then goes on to actually represent Ireland on that stage, certainly has our respect. Most of us can’t even contemplate performing at that level. It puts athletes and what they do so far beyond us mere mortals that you might as well compare a tabby cat to a cheetah over a hundred meters. And it’s all done with no big sponsorship and no premier league soccer superstar wage packets. Just determination, talent and an unbelievable level of commitment in time and sweat.
The Irish Sports Council’s International Carding Scheme, part-funded by ourselves, is one way that our support can make a ringside difference. It meant that 2008 Beijing Silver Medal winner Kenny Egan and four other Olympic level boxers could concentrate on their training, knowing that funding of €279,000 had been set aside over a four year period.
Another way of cheering on the best of homegrown is the Sports Council High Performance Boxing Programme, again partially funded by the National Lottery. In the current Olympic cycle that amounts to €2.1m. It doesn’t guarantee any knockouts, but it does help to pay for the coaches, physios, nutritionists and all the backup staff, as well as the cost of training and competitions. That’s us, getting stuck in to support the green corner.