From left: Vincent Hearns, Ballina BC PRO; Jerzy Baraniecki, Polish Coach; Deputy Michelle Mulherrin TD; Sergiy Korchynsky, Polish Head Coach and native of Ukraine; Deputy Darragh Calleary TD; Joe Lavelle, Ballina BC Treasurer/CPO and Vincent McMahon, Secretary Ballina Boxing Club.
Photo: Jurij Batiuk, taken December 11
The Irish Athletic Boxing Association (IABA) are intent on driving Irish boxing to new levels by inviting the best from overseas to training camps in Ireland. There is a belief that everything happens at IABA HQ in Dublin, but this training camp received full support from IABA HQ for a Mayo venue, and Ballina Boxing Club is only too glad to facilitate this 16-day event.
Head coach with the Polish contingent is Sergiy Korchynsky from Ukraine, regarded by many as one of the top three boxing coaches in the world. He was awarded Best WSB Coach of the Year in 2013.
There is a daily training schedule which is followed diligently and some of Ireland's elite boxers will be invited to attend during the coming days.
Group doing a warm-up in the Dick Hearns Training and Fitness Centre as
Eric and Dawid are sparring, watched by officers and guests,
As the 16-day training camp draws to a close on December 22nd 2015 and boxers are tiring, the big question on everyone's mind -- local, national and Polish -- is: How soon can we do this again? "Where there's a will there's a way!" is the measured, reassuring reply from Joe Lavelle, Treasurer and Child Protection Officer with Ballina Boxing Club. Brian Rocky O'Donnell stated that his late father would be proud of the club's involvement with this type of event, as he himself is, and he ensured that younger club members were regularly invited to watch and participate in suitable camp proceedings. The club owes special thanks to Jurij and Eryk Batiuk who both speak Russian and Polish, as well as English, and who were always on hand throughout the duration of the camp to act as interpreters when required to do so, and for taking the Polish officials on scenic tours. This club also wishes to thank all the Irish boxers, coaches and mentors who travelled to Ballina for this unique event. English-speaking Slawomir Danaj, physio with the Polish contingent, stated that the team's time in Ireland was very well spent and that it showed the boxers that there was more training and coaching to be done in preparation for Rio. He praised the hotel and the chefs who prepared the food and stated that he would highly recommend Ballina Boxing Club's ability to host future camps. A remark passed by a number of the visitors to the camp was most gratifying: "From what I see on the displays here, it is plain that this club is all about the current and former boxers. At the entrance you have posted your recent young national champions, and you have life-size photos of three very fine role models on the walls inside: that of the great multi-disciplined sports champion Dick Hearns, champion boxer, coach, referee Brian O'Donnell and of life-long boxing supporter Seán Padden. Best of luck to your club for the future."
Mr. Peter Mullen, St. Anne's Boxing Club, Westport, expressed his gratitude to Ballina Boxing Club on behalf of his boxer, Ray Moylette, who had trained/sparred with the Polish boxers during the camp, and which took Ray to within a contest of a place in Rio at Olympics 2016. Ray had lost the final in Dublin on a split decision on December 11th 2015, and with it an opportunity to compete in Rio, but his showing in Ballina earned him a right to go another route. Ray was honoured by Ballina Boxing Club at a function in The Merry Monk in July 2016 at which he spoke highly of his coaches and acknowledged the support of the Ballina club which had given him that extra opportunity to get to Rio. Joe Lavelle spoke of Ray as being a very fine athlete, a Mayo man, who went within one punch of a place in Rio 2016 which had come through dedication to his sport and the support of those around him.
| It has just been announced that Mr. Michael Ring, Minister of State at the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport will officially launch a fund raising project on the 17th October that will provide a new regional boxing and training arena in Ballina town. This arena has the support of many community groups as it will be available to coincide with opening times at the Ballina Community Sports Centre, unlike most boxing gyms which are locked up for several hours each week. The new building will enhance the area as a one-stop leisure park where individuals, families and groups will have a choice of activities on the same campus as the Ballina swimming pool and tennis courts. See list of activities in Ballina Community Sports Centre here.
The Ballina Comunity Sports Centre have obtained planning permission to erect a new two story facility at its existing complex located at Cathedral Road in the heart of the town. Mr. Brendan Doyle, manager of the Community Sports Centre said that they are “delighted to be associated with the Ballina Boxing Club who will be provided with a thirty year lease at a nominal rent”.
The Ballina Boxing Club was established in 1927 and currently operates from the Dick Hearns Training and Fitness Centre at Mercy Road, will move to the new state of the art gynasium that has been designed by Plan Design Associates, as soon as construction of the new building is completed.
Mr. Tommy Murphy, President of the I.A.B.A, until September 2015, said “ the Association is supportive of the development”, adding that “ the development will encourage young boys and girls to participate in boxing in Ballina and the surrounding areas”.
Mr. Vince Hearns the newly appointed PRO of the Ballina Boxing Club said that Minister Ring, who is supportive of the venture, had agreed to attend at Dick Hearns Training and Fitness Centre at Mercy Road, Ballina, on October 17th. and that he will formally launch the fund raising project on that occasion.
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The future of Ballina Boxing Club looks very promising and with ladies boxing becoming popular too of late, club membership is set to increase. Ballina's boxers deserve the best. In fact, Irish boxers deserve far more credit than they're given and it is a matter of public record that Irish boxers have taken more Olympic medals than all other sports combined in the country: boxers have won 16 of the 28 Olympic medals awarded to Irish athletes to date.