BY SEÁN P. FEENY
WITH Ireland’s world champion boxer Katie Taylor ‘hitting’ the headlines almost every week these days, boxing has gained huge popularity with young girls around the country.
Ireland’s biggest hope for a gold medal at the imminent London Olympics has also inspired young girls in Letterkenny to join their local boxing club. Crona and Aoife Browne, Michaela Dunleavy and Naomi O’Leary are showing the boys how it’s done at Letterkenny ABC.
Crona Browne (15) has now been boxing for over a month. The Loreto Convent student saw her father James of Gortlee Hire boxing at the The Big Fight Night 2 in aid our Our Lady’s Hospital for Sick Children Crumlin last November and thought, if he can do it so can she.
Crona’s younger sister Eva (13), who also goes to Loreto Convent, wasn’t long thinking about joining her sister at training to ‘keep her on her toes’ and said a lot of her friends at school are also interested in taking up the sport now.
Their friend Michaela Dunleavy (13) also joined Crona and Aoife a month ago and is already looking forward to her first season and, already getting some sparring in, for her first competitive bout.
Michaela is the niece of Malachy Dunleavy from Kirkstown, who competed in the first Big Fight Night in aid of the St Eunan’s Cathedral Restoration Fund, and if her uncle is anything to go by, Michaela’s future in the sport is very bright.
Naomi O’Leary (12) is a little more experienced than the other girls, having been training with the club for nearly one year, and has already proven to be a great prospect.
She has already won an Ulster title and came second at the All Irelands last season.