Camp has girls boxing clever and looking after their wellbeing.
More than 20 young female boxers from all over Cork county were selected to participate in a special boxing camp, and engage in a major research initiative about the needs of young people.
The camp, which ran for several days at the Cork Boxing Centre in Churchfield, provided a variety of training and other activities to the young boxers, aged between 10 and 18, from four clubs across Cork county: Rylane, Kanturk, Bantry, and Dunmanway.
The camp ran from August 22-25 and was funded by the Tusla-based organisation CYPSC (Children and Young People’s Services Committee) as a pilot for carrying out research into young people’s views on how to support and improve their social and emotional wellbeing.
“The idea of the camp was to conduct some research into what the girls think can be done to improve their emotional and social wellbeing,” said Kirstie Smith, one of four facilitators at the camp.
“This was an amazing project. The girls were so open and honest about their needs and about what is missing for young people and came up with really good suggestions.
“Some of the issues raised by the girls included the need for supports for parents in raising children in today’s complex world as well as the lack of transport in rural areas and the benefits of yoga, sports, and other opportunities to get together.”
The issue of having a priest as the school counsellor was raised: Girls felt there were things they couldn’t discuss with a priest.
A report on the feedback is to be compiled and presented to CYPSC in the coming weeks.
The consultation and boxing camp was part of the CYPSC consultation process for developing a three-year strategic plan for children and young people in Cork City and county.
CYPSC is a joint planning and interagency working to improve the lives of children and young people.
The organisation is developing, and will later implement, a three-year children and young people’s plan which aims to make improvements in the lives of children and young people across five national outcomes:
Being active and healthy with positive physical and mental wellbeing;
Achieving their full potential in all areas of learning and development;
Are safe and protected from harm;
Have economic security and opportunity;
Are connected and respected and contributing to their world.
Cork CYPSC, which chose to prioritise the social and emotional wellbeing of children and young people as this feeds into all of the national outcomes, is in the process of gathering data and information to complete the first three-year plan.
The days at the camp involved boxing training, followed by smoothies made with peddle-power via a special smoothie bike, yoga and mindfulness sessions, and circus training.
“Each day, five different girls took on preparing the lunch for everyone at camp, making healthy soups such as lentil and tomato, butternut squash and coconut, and desserts such as avocado/lime cheesecake, protein balls, and dairy and sugar-free icecream,” said Kirstie.
After lunch, she said, the girls participated in focus group discussions about social and emotional wellbeing and made suggestions about how these services can be improved for young people.
Each day finished with a skills session to develop boxing skills and daily buses were provided to facilitate the girls in travelling to Cork.
Chantelle Kelleher, Aoibhe Walsh, Megan Lehane, and Caoimhe Kelleher at the Cork Boxing Academy girls summer camp.
Chloe O’Keeffe, Kanturk BC, and Tina Kotarja, Bantry, taking a break between routines.
Laura Lyons enjoying the sparring at Cork Boxing Academy.
Linda Desmond, Rylane, smiling for the camera during a break in proceedings at the Cork Boxing Academy.
Katie Cronin, Dunmanway BC, Leah Lehane, Rylane BC, and Katie and Leah O’Keeffe of Kanturk BC.
Aoibhe Walsh practising her sparring Academy. drills at the Cork Boxing