Happy Birthday, High Five!

The High Five Boxing Academy has celebrated its first birthday in its home club, Drimnagh BC, Dublin.

The programme began in four Dublin boxing clubs: Drimnagh, Crumlin, St. Catherine’s and Palmerstown, in October 2021, and is founded and chaired by Paddy Dingle.

In its first 3 months of life, almost 260 units of boxing training were delivered to boxers with additional needs in all four clubs. Drimnagh BC has also become the first boxing club in Ireland to open a purpose-built sensory room.

Today, all High Five boxers were presented with medals to mark their first year of training.

Olympic Champion, Michael Carruth, also tried his luck by lacing up his gloves against High Five boxer, Christopher Whelan. Christopher was the 5-0 victor, and the judges scored the bout 30:27, 30:27, 30:27, 30:27, 30: 27

The IABA has developed technical guidelines for clubs wishing to delivery inclusive boxing training for children with disabilities through the High Five Boxing Academy– these include information on buddies, volunteers and reporting. An information session on High Five, with founder Paddy Dingle and IABA Communications and Inclusion Officer Ciara Plunkett, took place through Zoom in August.

Duke’s Boxing ClubTyrone
Gateway Boxing ClubSligo
Greenhills Boxing ClubDublin
Ledley Hall Boxing ClubAntrim
Oughterard Boxing ClubGalway
Tralee Boxing ClubKerry
Templemore Boxing Club

Monivea Boxin Club


The IABA will open a Second Wave of registration, education and upskilling for clubs considering joining the High Five Boxing Academy in the coming weeks.


Clubs in the High Five Boxing Academy must: 

·         Be affiliated to the IABA 

·         Ensure all boxers taking part in the High Five Programme are fully registered as club members 

·         Be a signatory to the Cara Sport Inclusion Ireland Sports Disability Inclusion Charter 

·         Be mindful of the Cara Sport Inclusion Ireland’s inclusion continuum 


Coaches coaching in the High Five Boxing Academy must: 

·         Be registered members of an affiliated club

·         Have an IABA Level One qualification, or above 

·         Have a minimum of two years’ experience in coaching children and young people. 

·         Have current Garda vetting 

·         Have undergone child safeguarding training 

·         Have completed the Cara Sport Inclusion Ireland Disability Inclusion Training and have retained their certificate of completion. 


All boxers in the High Five Boxing Academy must: 

·         Be fully registered members of their club & included in Blocworx. 

·         Be aged between 5 years and 18 years 

High Five founder clubs, boxers, parents and IABA recently presented the programme to the Minister for Sport, TDs and Senators in Leinster House – more here