Holy Trinity Boxing Club in west Belfast has kick-started its 50th anniversary year with a major fundraising initiative, as the club aims to go from strength to strength in the next fifty years, writes Neil Loughran of the Irish News.
The Turf Lodge club, like the rest of the boxing fraternity, suffered over the past two years after the Covid pandemic struck.
But, with restrictions eased and championships back up and running, the club is hoping to celebrate its half century in style – starting with Sport NI’s Project Re-boot: Activate crowdfunder.
Sports clubs are being encouraged to detail new projects on the horizon coming out of Covid, with the possibility of earning £5,000 match funding for successful applicants.
With a range of different projects and activities already in the works for the year ahead, Holy Trinity is aiming to raise £10,000 as they look to build a bright future.
“We have been building character and champions inside and outside the boxing ring for 50 years. Our 2019/20 short season saw Holy Trinity boxers win 129 gold medals and 25 silver medals at county, provincial and national level,” read the club’s crowdfunder page.
“This year marks the 50th anniversary of our club and we have faced many obstacles along the way. Covid-19 came in swinging and packed a punch, for the first time in our history we were forced to close and cancel all group training and coaching.
“While this was of course necessary to play our part, it had major drawbacks. Development of our members physically, mentally and socially was stopped for far too long. We didn’t throw in the towel, we’ve been fighting on and bringing boxing back.
“No child or member should be disadvantaged due to circumstances beyond their control. This challenge will require an extraordinary effort to overcome and our gloves are on. We believe sport contributes massively to our community and that everyone should be given the opportunity to participate.
“Our club coaches and officials continue to put in huge efforts, every day of the week, and all on a voluntary basis. Every boxer who has worn the green and white Holy Trinity vest has been central to the club’s overall success.
“So too of course are our supporters and sponsors. They have been fantastic down the years. Without them our club would simply not exist as we do today.
“With your help we can put in place a programme to really kick-start our recovery from Covid. We can celebrate our last 50 years and future-proof our club for the next 50.”
Holy Trinity’s nine newly-crowned Co Antrim champions will be heading to the National Stadium at the weekend for the All-Ireland Championships, with the draw taking place today. Pictured, from left, are Aleesha Deronja, Summer Fleming, Mark Dawson, Logan Rice, Cormac Fegan, Conor Braniff, James Kelly, Cormac Curley and Jude Molyneaux
Head coach Michael Hawkins sr insists the club will update and purchase more equipment to provide the best possible training environment, take members on club trips and training camps, “offering experiences young boxers will never forget”.
Plans are also afoot to run boxing shows throughout the year, to purchase new Holy Trinity-branded competition kits, bring in specialist speakers on diet, nutrition and mental health, and mark the 50th anniversary year with a gala dinner, detailed records of achievements, videos reflecting on the club’s history, a club tour for the wider community showcasing a treasure trove of photos, questions and answer sessions, and much more.