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Fighting Fit in St Catherine’s

By Cormac O’Connor

“We had a buffet set up, with chips and stuff like that, but we also had salads and when the boys came up from training they went straight for the salads.”  Discipline is one of the key benefits of boxing according to Ronnie Byrne one of ten coaches at the St Catherine’s boxing club on Marrowbone Lane.

Ronnie says there are also other benefits to boxing apart from the obvious fitness “Personal development, but discipline is the main one. One thing we don’t tolerate here is messing…but everyone here at the club gets along with each other so messing is rarely an issue” added the coach.

An average nights training starts with a quick warm up followed by about five rounds of skipping, five rounds with a punch bag then they members work on their boxing techniques. Ronnie says that St Catherine’s differs from other clubs because members don’t have to fight “a lot of them just want to train, but when they see other members boxing they want to try it out. The six to ten year olds do circuit training which basically builds up fitness, they are introduced to boxing at eleven.”

The recent success of Katie Taylor and Bernard Dunne coupled with Irelands impressive history in Olympic boxing has meant the sport has had a steady interest. Some club members recently met Katie Taylor whom Ronnie says “is absolute lady, she had her own friends with and didn’t have to spend so much time with us but she did.”

Ronnie says the main problem for the club is holding on to members “Once the women and the drink kicks in they’re gone, in a nut shell, that’s it”.  But Ronnie said that boxing can help keep youngsters away from the drink “if they are dedicated everything is knocked on the head because they are trying to keep their weight down for the leagues.” 

After eight years on Marrowbone Lane the St Catherine’s boxing club will soon move location to a building which has been loaned to the club by a local builder “we have it till such time as he either sells it to us or to someone else”.

However the new premises are still only a shell and building materials will be desperately needed. “We need to put a new roof on it and re-plumb it but we will be happy to do it” says Ronnie.

The club receives funding from the young people’s service fund but because St Catherine’s is already fully equipped the only time Ronnie sees any need for money is when they move location.

If you are interested in becoming a member you can contact the St Catherine’s centre on 01-2227541.

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