independent

Sunday 17 February 2019

Aoife puts best foot forward in support of her boxing club

Aoife Purcell and her mum Jean O’Brien from the South East Boxing Club in Bridgetown, pictured with supporters as they set out on their walk to Kilkenny Castle to raise funds for the club
Aoife Purcell and her mum Jean O’Brien from the South East Boxing Club in Bridgetown, pictured with supporters as they set out on their walk to Kilkenny Castle to raise funds for the club

Anna Hayes

An 11-year-old boxer from Bridgetown has completed an impressive test of endurance by walking from her home village all the way to Kilkenny to raise funds for the local boxing club.

Aoife Purcell is a member of the South East Boxing Club, which has nearly 60 members, and is a promising young boxer.

Earlier in the year, while the club was scratching their heads for fundraiser ideas, she came up with the novel idea of a sponsored walk which, given her age, her mother Jean was also roped into!

While the total fundraising figure has not been finalised, Aoife's intrepid adventuring is estimated to have raised around €1,400.

The impressive feat took three days, setting off from the clubhouse in Bridgetown last Friday week.

The duo were joined for some of the first leg by members and coaches from the club as they set off on their first 25km leg.

On the first night, they were collected from their location and brought home for some well-earned sleep and they restarted the second leg from where they left off the following day.

They stayed with friends on the second night before going full steam ahead on day three into Kilkenny city for a grand finish at Kilkenny Castle.

The money raised will go towards a new girls' dressing room in the club and other sporting equipment.

Cllr Mick Roche is a coach and one of the founding members of the club and he congratulated both Aoife and her mother on their remarkable achievement, saying everyone was very proud of them.

He said they had 'set the bar high' for everyone in the club, adding that despite walking 75km, Aoife was back at training last Monday week, perhaps not quite as energetic as usual but still in fighting form!

She was helped in her recovery by a session of physiotherapy in the Wexford Pain Therapy Clinic.

'Aoife is a brilliant young boxer and she's in a good weight category so she'll go far. She may be small but she's mighty! Along the road, she said her legs were tired but she'd push on - the words of a true champion.'

South East Boxing Club was formed in 2015 and Cllr Roche said he'd never once been disappointed by the tremendous work ethic and heart of all the young boxers in the club.

'In just a few short years the club has become an institution in our village and beyond.'

Wexford People

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