(AUG 30) More than 120 boxers
from countries including India, Canada, Taiwan, France, England
(inc Isle of Man) Scotland, Norway, and of course Ireland, have
ended a highly successful International Sparring Camp at the St
Brigid’s club in Edenderry. The camp was officially from 24-29th
August but many of the boxers were already in situ on 22nd
August preparing for what has been described as the “World’s
largest” sparring camp for female boxers.
Photo credit: St
Brigid’s Edenderry Training Camp
Indeed so successful and beneficial was the camp that the Indian
team – including five times World Champion, MC Mery Kom – stayed
on for extra sparring ahead of major international tournaments
later this year and asked Edenderry coach Liam Morley Brereton
if he could use his ‘good offices’ to arrange a test match
between India and Ireland.
Brereton and his IABA officials were only too keen to facilitate
the Indians so a rare treat in store for fans of Irish women’s
boxing as not only Kom and the leading Indians will be in action
but a very strong Irish selection will include Christina
Desmond, former World Junior champion Ciara Ginty and Belfast’s
Kristina O’Hara. This will take place at Dublin’s National
Stadium on Saturday Sept 2nd from 7 pm when some 14 bouts are
Photo credit: Pat Ryan
(IABA President) , MC Mery Kom (India) ,Stephen Connolly (IABA)
& Liam Brereton (St. Brigid’s Head Coach)
Kom, full name ‘Chungneijang Mery Kom Hmangte’, claimed bronze
at London 2012 and won her five World titles at 45kg,46kg and
48kg. Also a four-time Asian champion, she secured silver at the
inaugural World Women’s Elite Championships in the USA in 2001.
Kom and Ireland’s own Katie Taylor are the only women to win
five AIBA World Championship gold medals.
A member the Upper House of the Indian Parliament, Kom was
appointed a national observer for boxing by the Ministry of
Youth Affairs and Sports in the Indian government in 2017. She
is contemplating continuing in the sport up to and including the
2020 Olympics in Tokyo. She was also honoured as an AIBA Legend
What of the camp itself? All those that were present were
fulsome in their praise for the Edenderry club and the
hospitality afford them by Brereton and his Club officials and
their families. Canada’s Charlie Cavanagh posted this on her
Facebook page and was typical of social media posts on the
“As I sit on a plane back to Canada, I feel both eager to get
home and sad to be leaving. I feel so blessed to have had the
opportunity to attend this sparring camp alongside numerous
countries including India, Norway, Taiwan, France, and many
more. The training was absolutely amazing and I have learned so
much in the past week.
Being able to spar with and receive feedback from people of all
nations, style, and capability was truly an experience of a
lifetime. Not only was the training top notch, but the people of
Edenderry were both extremely welcoming and incredibly kind.
An ordinary family accepted myself and 5 other Canadian girls
into their home and treated us as their own, and I can't thank
them enough for the hospitality. Lastly I'd like to thank Liam
Morley Brereton for all he's done for myself and other athletes,
from drives, to accommodations, to meals...the list goes on. So
long Edenderry, I'll be back!”
As we go to Press there are strong rumours that Brereton is
contemplating putting his name forward for the post of
“Secretary of the IABA” at the forthcoming AGM in addition to
others including Antoinette Faye McClean and Dublin County Board
official Arthur O’Brien.
Brereton himself would neither confirm or deny these rumours but
several clubs and their officials, in different provinces seem
keen to utilise the considerable expertise and contacts he has
built up not only with International Sparring Camps like this
but also as coach and great supporter of Irish women’s boxing.
Few have the knowledge or experience of the Edenderry man and
clearly he has much more to offer to Irish boxing. Hopefully one
day the IABA will recognise and reward his skills with a place
at the ‘Top Table’ of IABA Officer Board of Directors.