Wicklow People (Arklow) - - NEWS -

DAINA Moorehouse didn’t be­come a Euro­pean Gold medal­list out of nowhere. In her Ju­nior Cert year, the 15-year old has been up be­fore six ev­ery morn­ing to run eight kilo­me­tres be­fore school.

On Sun­day, the Bray boxer won the Euro­pean Youth Boxing Championships in Sofia, Bul­garia.

At 15, Daina was one of the youngest mem­bers of Team Ire­land. She was nonethe­less se­lected as team cap­tain for the championships.

The ris­ing star of boxing is a res­i­dent of the Heather­wood es­tate off the Boghall Road in Bray. She has just com­pleted her Ju­nior Cert at St Kil­ian’s Com­mu­nity School. Her proud par­ents Melissa and John joined her in Sofia, Bul­garia.

She de­feated Ukra­nian cham­pion Vik­to­ria Fab­u­liak last Thurs­day in the quar­ter fi­nal. On Satur­day, Daina faced Rus­sia’s Diana Er­makora and se­cured her place in the fi­nal.

On Sun­day she de­feated Eng­land’s Sim­ran Kaur in the fi­nal.

As well as Daina’s par­ents, her coach Paul O’Toole cel­e­brated with her in Bul­garia. He has trained the Bray girl since she started boxing five years ago.

‘Daina has had a re­mark­able sea­son, not drop­ping a sin­gle round in all com­pe­ti­tions this year and is a credit to her club, county and coun­try. The sky is the limit for her now,’ said Ea­monn Carr of En­niskerry Boxing Club.

‘En­niskerry Boxing Club is so proud of Daina,’ said the club fol­low­ing her vic­tory. ‘She won all of her fights unan­i­mously in Bul­garia and her in­cred­i­ble hard work has paid off. We are so happy for Paul who worked tire­lessly with Daina.’

They said that it was a proud day for her fam­ily, the club and the Ir­ish team for the ath­lete to have cap­tained her coun­try and taken home gold.

At home in Bray yes­ter­day (Tues­day), Daina was set­tling in again af­ter re­turn­ing from Bul­garia.

‘I was over the moon,’ she said on win­ning the fi­nal. ‘It took some time for it to sink in.’

She de­scribed a gru­elling train­ing regime prior to the com­pe­ti­tion.

‘I was up at six in the morn­ing and train­ing that night from seven to nine. It was tough train­ing, but it was still worth it,’ she said.

She worked hard and took on her ex­ams as well as her sched­ule with En­niskerry Boxing Club and the High Per­for­mance Unit. The Ju­nior Cert wasn’t as hard as it was made out to be, she said.

She fell into boxing by accident, com­ing along to col­lect her brother Michael from train­ing five years ago. She took to it straight away. ‘Over the years I be­gan to love it,’ said Daina.

She had made great friends in the club, and on the Ir­ish team. Her friends from school have been send­ing mes­sages of con­grat­u­la­tions, and she will spend time with some of them over the com­ing weeks. Paul has given her some time off be­fore they get back to train­ing. She’s been on the go for months, if not years.

‘She had no break re­ally,’ said Paul. ‘She’s had the Le­in­ster championships, the Ir­ish championships, then we had the cadet championships, and she’s boxed for Ire­land. She’s a busy girl and she has earned her time off.’

They do have their eye on the Olympics in Tokyo in 2020, but for now it’s one step at a time. The youth Olympics will take place next year, and be­fore that the Le­in­sters, Ir­ish and Cadets. Daina is too young for the World Championships in the com­ing year.

She’ ll be back in High Per­for­mance train­ing in three weeks. ‘She’s worked un­be­lie­ve­ably hard,’ said Paul. ‘She’s a very tal­ented young girl. She has it all. She’s a very good girl for lis­ten­ing and she does what she’s told.’

They work well together and you can see the mu­tual re­spect that Daina and Paul have for one an­other.

Dad John is a very proud fa­ther, and her mother Melissa said that they were both thrilled when she took gold in Bul­garia.

‘Any time she’s in the ring, that’s all that’s in your head – oh God, make her win,’ said Melissa. ‘She gives it her best shot ev­ery time. She loves it and she’s so ded­i­cated. Her coach Paul is bril­liant with her. He puts a lot into Daina and she puts a lot into him. The two of them are great together.’

Her par­ents thought when she took up boxing it was a great past-time for her, they never thought she would be­come such an ath­lete so young. ‘As she pro­gressed over the years she just be­came re­ally good. We were just amazed. She started win­ning ev­ery­thing, and it brought her to the Euro­peans.

Daina’s fa­ther John was a boxer and her brother Michael boxes in the same club. He was out for a time due to a shoul­der in­jury. Michael also plays foot­ball and is just back from Barcelona with Ardmore Rovers.

Five years ago when Daina walked into En- niskerry Boxing Club she was, as Paul O’Toole de­scribes, ‘a tiny lit­tle thing’.

‘Ev­ery­one knew from the first night she had a spark, she had that foot­work. She was al­ways there and never missed train­ing. She’s just an amaz­ing young girl, I’m so proud of her.’

Daina’s granny Mar­garet Fitz­patrick said that Daina is ‘just bril­liant’ and that she’s a lovely young girl who al­ways has a nice man­ner and never grum­bles. ‘ She’s worked very hard,’ said Mar­garet, who was visit­ing along with Daina’s cousin Becky Wil­son.

‘I think she’s go­ing to go far, I re­ally do.’


Euro­pean cham­pion Daina Moorehouse back at home in Bray with her dad John Moorehouse, mum Melissa O’Brien and brother Michael Moorehouse.

Daina with her coach Paul O’Toole.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Ireland

© PressReader. All rights reserved.