High Five Boxing Academy introduced to the Minister for Sport, TDs and Senators.

Members of the High Five Boxing Academy for children with additional needs have presented the programme to TDs, Senators and the Minister for Sport, Jack Chambers, at a briefing at Leinster House.

High Five Dublin founder and chair, Paddy Dingle of Drimnagh, was joined by Crumlin Boxing Club’s Bra Brady, Paddy and Darren Jennings of Palmerstown, Stephen Kavannagh of Arbour Hill, Fran Long and Ronnie Byrne of St. Catherine’s BC, Nicola Hayden of Greenhills BC, Stephen Molloy of Oughterard BC, Sterring Commitee Vice Chair Margaret Lowdnes, Secretary Patricia Ryan, parent Audrey Malone and High Five boxer Tilly Malone, parent Karen Harty and High Five boxer, James Keating, mam Oksana Konyk representing her children, High Five boxers Leo and Leah, High Five boxer Christopher Whelan and his mother, Scott Price, Yvonne Whelan, Helen Holmes and Antoinette Windsor.

The group shared their experiences of setting up the High Five foundation club programme, and parents and boxers shared their experience of being part of the High Five family with TDs and Senators. IABA Communications and Inclusion Officer, Ciara Plunkett, outlined to TDs the mechanism for nation-wide rollout, and technical guidlines underpinning the programme, collaboration with Cara Sport Inclusion Ireland and IABA’s funding of training for High Five coaches.

The presentation was facilited by Dublin South-Central Sinn Fein TD, Aengus O’Snodaigh and Clondalkin’s Mark Ward, and was attended by Minister for Sport, Jack Chambers, Galway TD Sean Canney, Louth’s Ruairí Ó Murchú TD, Pauline Tully TD of Cavan/Monaghan, Pa Daly TD of Tralee/Kerry, Martin Browne TD, Tipperary, Johnny Guirke TD of Meath Chris Andrews TD, Dublin Bay South, Senator Sean Kyne of Galway, Senator Francis Black of Dublin, Dessie Ellis -D Finglas/Ballymun, Brid Smith TD Dublin South-Central, Pat Buckley TD Cork East and Wexford’s Johnny Mythen. Representatives of John Brady TD, Senator Mary Seery and Roisin Shorthall TD also attended.

The programme began in four Dublin boxing clubs: Drimnagh, Crumlin, St. Catherine’s and Palmerstown, in October 2021. The IABA continues to extend its heartfelt thanks to the High Five Programme, its Chair, Paddy Dingle, Steering Committee, and participating clubs, boxers and parents, for paving the way for disability inclusive boxing training for children throughout Ireland and for their contribution to the development of a programme available to all boxing clubs.

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.

Clubs wishing to move forward in becoming part of the High Five family were asked to confirm their adoption of principles and criteria. IABA has funded, through Sport Ireland funding, the provision of Cara Sport Inclusion Ireland Disability Inclusion Training, and the following clubs have now been DIT certified and join the High Five Boxing Academy in the First Wave:

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