Daina Moore­house and Cole Byrne in fly­ing form

Wicklow People (West Edition) - - SPORT - BREN­DAN LAWRENCE Sports Ed­i­tor

FRESH from win­ning their lat­est Irish box­ing ti­tles, two En­niskerry Box­ing Club mem­bers will don the Irish bib in the com­ing weeks as they go to rep­re­sent their coun­try in Ge­or­gia and Bu­dapest in the Euro­pean School­boy/girl Cham­pi­onships in Tbil­isi and in the EUBC Youth Euro­pean Box­ing Cham­pi­onships 2019 in Sofia, Bul­garia.

Daina Moore­house col­lected her sev­enth Irish box­ing crown in a row last week­end by way of walk-over while her club col­league Cole Byrne se­cured his third na­tional crown in re­cent weeks and both will now un­der­take sep­a­rate Euro­pean ad­ven­tures.

For Daina Moore­house, the Euro­pean jour­ney won’t be un­fa­mil­iar given that she has al­ready achieved two Euro­pean ti­tles in her im­pres­sively suc­cess­ful box­ing ca­reer to date. For Cole Byrne, this will be his first foray into Euro­pean com­pe­ti­tion but given his progress un­der the guid­ance of club coach Paul O’Toole it is very likely that he will hit the ground run­ning this week­end when his com­pe­ti­tion kicks off in Tbil­isi.

‘I won my sev­enth ti­tle in a row,’ said Daina when she sat down with the Wick­low Peo­ple last week. ‘I won my first Irish (ti­tle) when I was 14 and I haven’t lost one since. This was my first time get­ting it with a walk-over.

‘I’m just train­ing twice a day. Up in the morn­ing, train­ing, then off to work with my mother, and then train­ing or spar­ring. I get the odd day off. That’s the way it will be un­til the Euro­peans. We’ll have a train­ing camp with the Irish team as well.

‘Run­ning in the morn­ing. It de­pends, re­ally. Ev­ery Satur­day my coach col­lects me a 6am and we go to the seafront and we do sprint­ing and run­ning. I only train once on a Satur­day. Then I have Sun­days off. The rest of the week is twice a day.

‘We’re fly­ing on Septem­ber 2 and they’re on un­til the 11th. I’ve noth­ing be­tween then and now ex­cept train­ing and the camp with the Irish team,’ she added.

Daina has been box­ing since she was 11 and af­ter a some­what slow start she soon fell in love with the sport and has never looked bac

‘I started when I was 11. My brother got me into it. Well, ac­tu­ally, my mother kind of got me up there. I wasn’t re­ally in­ter­ested in it to be hon­est. I just went up and tried it out. I didn’t think it all had to do with weigh ins and all this train­ing. I thought you just boxed. I started, and I started to like it. I think the first thing I won was a Michael An­drews Le­in­ster ti­tle. I bet a girl that had beaten me twice be­fore,’ said Daina.

Dain’s mother is Melissa O’Brien and she says that Daina and Cole are ben­e­fit­ing im­mensely from the train­ing of En­niskerry Box­ing Club head coach Paul O’Toole.

‘I knew Michael (Moore­house) was do­ing it and she was sit­ting around do­ing noth­ing and I just said to my­self that Michael is dis­ci­plined so I just get her up to do it and see how she gets on. She was ac­tu­ally good at it see­ing as she was so young. And Paul was great. He had her out train­ing with Michael and she be­gan to re­ally en­joy it. She wasn’t win­ning an aw­ful lot and then when she got that bit older, she started win­ning and then she started to re­ally en­joy it. It couldn’t be done without him (Paul). He is bril­liant. He pushes them to the limit. Her­self and Cole train to­gether morn­ing and evening, swim­ming, spar­ring each other, jog­ging and run­ning. He’d be with them. In the morn­ing they do their own thing, but in the evening, he’d be with them and then they’d have Sun­days off. He is to­tally ded­i­cated be­cause he works a full-time job as well. Tough go­ing,’ she added.

So, what’s the dream for Daina Moore­house. What’s the path­way she sees mapped out in front of her?

‘The goal is to win these Euro­peans, step one, be­come world cham­pion, then go to the Olympics and. De­pend­ing how I do as an am­a­teur, go pro at some stage years and years away. That’s what I want to do. I hope so,’ she said with a voice filled with ambition and be­lief.

‘I think she is go­ing down the right road; af­ter win­ning two Euro­pean golds and now go­ing for her third. And she par­tic­i­pated in the World Cham­pi­onships last year in Bu­dapest, but she bowed out in the quar­ter-fi­nals against an op­po­nent from Thai­land,’ said Melissa.

With Cole Byrne in train­ing camp, it fell to Melissa, who is sec­re­tary of En­niskerry Box­ing club to de­scribe his re­cent ac­tiv­i­ties.

‘Cole won his third Irish ti­tle about a month ago (54kg), and that was the qual­i­fi­ca­tion to go to the Euro­pean School­boy/Girl Cham­pi­onships in Ge­or­gia and he’s fly­ing out next Fri­day (Au­gust 2). He’s in train­ing camp in Dun­dalk at the mo­ment and from there he’ll fly out to Ge­or­gia and hope­fully he’ll bring back a medal and I think he’s more than ca­pa­ble.

‘He’s train­ing so hard. Him and Daina train­ing to­gether are the best,’ she added

‘He boxes the head off me. I used to kill him,’ quipped Daina.

‘They’re great for each other, they push each other to the limit,’ said Melissa.

Cole’s jour­ney to his third All-Ire­land crown was a trick­ier one than Daina’s but in claim­ing the crown he se­cured his trip to Ge­or­gia.

‘He had two fights. In his first fight he boxed Bobby Flood who had beaten Cole be­fore. Flood is from Cabra BC.

‘In the fi­nal he boxed an­other lad from Cabra, John McDon­agh. The semi-fi­nal was prob­a­bly the tough one be­cause Bobby was favourite to win it.

‘Two tough fights but he came out on top and won his third Irish ti­tle and now off to the Euro­peans,’ said Melissa.

Daina Moore­house, Paul O’Toole and Cole Byrne.

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