Club Profile: Naas Boxing Club

Founded by the late Paddy Sherry, back in the early '40s, St. David's Boxing Club in Naas has been an integral part of the sportling life of the town every since. Having had 'homes' in various locations, and indeed even homeless for some time, forcing them to train in Newbridge, Athy and Kilcullen, St. David's is about to move back into permanent accommodation, taking up residence at the old fire station on the Fairgreen. Recently the club has seen success at both the Dublin

SUNDAY 15th January 2006. An important day for St David's Boxing Club in Naas. This day will go down as one of the most memorable days in the club's 66 years history as at the National Stadium, three of their most exciting boxers claimed gold medal success at the Dublin & Leinster Championships.

A proud day for all concerned one would have thought but there were fewer people more proud than Head Coach at St David's, Paul Archbold, who saw that Sunday success as a stepping stone to a glamorous future for the Naas organisation.

"We went to the National Stadium for the Leinster & Dublin Championships with three entries and we came home with three gold medals. Three championship winners and that is without doubt one of the biggest thrills that our club has experienced," saluted Paul last week.

With a current membership of just ten boxers, that fact makes this achievement even more splendid as the three successful boxers of Robert Carty, James O'Neill and Edward Connors excelled one after another at the home of Irish boxing.

"Our three boys boxed exceptional and the training all throughout Christmas paid off. They trained every day bar Christmas Day and St Stephen's Day and it shows that it was well worth it.

Robert was the first to win gold. He was competing in the Boy 1 (46 Kg), which is for U12, and after winning his semi final with a defeat of a Laois opponent, he defeated a boxer from Darndale 8-3 in the final.

James was next to box and he beat a boy from Brosna in Co. Westmeath 13-12 in a very close final and he just managed to score the winning punch right on the bell, which gave him the victory.

"Edward was our third boxer to continue setting the standard and after winning his semi-final by beating another Brosna boxer 4-3, he won the final with a brilliant display against a Darndale boxer, beating him 19-3" added a proud Paul.

"The three boys won their golds one after another and they were a credit to the club. We took the National Stadium away by storm and we had great support there on the day. Not only were the parents of the three boxers cheering them on but the parents of our other boxers were giving their support and the coaches really appreciated that. It was a great day for St David's Boxing Club" enthused Paul.

Then just four days later, another date to go into the St David's record books. The Kildare Championships were the focus at Kilcullen and with five entries, the Naas club took home five gold medals - Another magnificent feat.

"In the Kildare Championships, we had another great day when Robert, James and Edward all followed up on their success of the previous Sunday with victories in their respected divisions. We also had Dean Cully, who won the Boy (44 Kg) final, and Joseph Jordan took gold in the Youth 1 (52 Kg), which is for U16. All the best boxers in Kildare were there comprising from the clubs of Athy, Kilcullen, Newbridge, Ballymore, Grangecon and we came out on top" boasted the St David's Head Coach.

While the present is looking extremely encouraging for all at St David's, Paul remembers those responsible for the setting up of this boxing establishment, those who set the standard well before now.

"St David's is on the go since the early 1940s, it has always been here in the town. It was a gentleman called Paddy Sherry who set it all up, he was the founding member and he loved his boxing. He boxed for years, refereed and was a County Board Official. If it wasn't for him, we wouldn't have been celebrating these great victories."

Up to the recent Leinster & Dublin Championships, the boys at St David's have had to do with training out of various clubs such as Athy, Newbridge and Kilcullen but it is because of numerous Naas people associated with the club, and one man in particular, that the Fire Station will be the new home base of St David's Boxing Club in the coming weeks.

"We have been training out of various clubs in recent months but that is about to change as the Fire Station is nearly ready to be our new home. It's only a matter of signing the necessary papers and a lot of work has been done to get this done, particularly by our Lord Mayor Pat McCarthy, who has done Trojan work to get us there. This will make life a lot easier for us.

"We have a great backroom team at the club with Mark Higgins being our Chairman, Emmett Loughlin as our Treasurer while our other two coaches are Noel and James O'Neill. We have a well structured committee of Michael Cully, Jimmy Carroll, Paddy Loughlin, Sean Coyle and P Carroll. It's a fine set up."

So for a club with such a proud and prestigious history, what does the future hold for St David's and in particular, their young boxers who just struck gold?

The Boy 4 and Youth Championships are coming up next and that is important but our next big target is the main Leinster Championships, which is what we are training for now. We are doing heavy training for that, which involves body work, pad work, skipping, some running and plenty of sparring said Pat.

"The Leinster Championships take place in Dundalk in March and only the winners there qualify for the National Championships, which are our ultimate goal. They take place at the National Stadium at Easter and that's the long term target. We are all set to move into our new establishment, which includes a gymnasium, and that is a huge step forward for us.

"We have had plenty of good boxers through the ranks down the years but the ones who are starting to take off now, well these are our future."


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