Above: Luke Maher wins his final
Recently set up with the aim of promoting boxing to the residents of Dunmanway and the surrounding areas, Dunmanway Boxing Club is very much community based. Alongside competitive squad boxing sessions, the club also runs a junior session (roughly 50/50 split male/female) and all female boxercise sessions, as well as running pre-season sessions for GAA clubs and special sessions for local schools.
Twelve months ago the club had a strong membership base but lacked a squad of boxers to compete. After a lot of work, sweat, fundraising and dedication, Dunmanway Boxing Club now has a strong young squad who have performed well at the Cork Leagues and recently competed at the Cork County Championships, coming away with two County Champions and four finalists (only two clubs in Cork can boast better numbers!).
Five of the squad now travel to Limerick to compete in the Munster Championship. If victorious, they will progress to the All Irelands in Dublin later in the year. For a club of this size and funding, it’s a massive achievement.
One of the club’s promising boxers hoping to go all the way is Soni Gaffney. Soni’s grandfather was a professional boxer in London for his entire life and unfortunately has not been able to travel to see Soni box. Soni’s aim is to make it to the All Irelands so his Grandfather can watch him compete for the All Ireland title.
As the Dunmanway squad goes from strength to strength, the effort and dedication put in also increases. Unfortunately, so does the cost of running a competitive squad. This burden was recently eased when Emerald Engineering replied to a Facebook campaign to help fund the squad, and although more sponsors are being sought, this financial aid goes a long way to helping the club.
Once the competitions are over for the year, the club will host its inaugrual Boxing Tournament in Dunmanway at the Parkway Hotel on May 20, with the aim being to showcase some of the younger boxers to the community.