By Eoin ryan
A proposal to launch a Start Box initiative in Meath to encourage boxing participation across the county was put forward by a local councillor during a Meath County Council meeting.
The Start Box Initiative is a partnership between the Irish Athletic Boxing Association (IABA) and Dublin City Council catering for those with little to no previous experience of amateur boxing in Dublin. 2,500 young people participate each year with another 1,500 engaging in the Summer Aviva StartBox experience.
Many of those participating in the initiative have represented their schools in December in one of five separate showcase exhibitions taking place at Dublin’s National Stadium.
Meath East councillor Damien O’Reilly advocated for this initiative to be introduced in Meath following its success in Dublin boxing clubs. This was proposed “following the Dublin City
Council model in partnership with the Irish Athletic Boxing Association to increase boxing
participation across county Meath for young people,” Damien O’Reilly said.
Meath Local Sports Partnership (MLSP) were the first to develop this programme which was replicated by Dublin City Council with varying degrees of success.
It was noted that there are only a small number of boxing clubs in Meath which are at capacity and struggling in terms of volunteers and coaches.
The programme is dependent on local boxing clubs to assist it and they are required to provide coaches and time within their club for its roll out. Any club taking part will be provided a grant by MLSP but capacity issues may need to be addressed.
MLSP is also attempting a programme catering towards girls starting in amateur boxing through secondary schools and the school completion programme.