Sport

Calling students to Belfast boxing academy

BELFAST Metropolitan College is to launch Ireland's first-ever boxing academy from September - with the closing date for the first intake of students at the end of May. Designed for students who participate in the sport or are interested in being involved in boxing, this innovative initiative has been developed to offer men and women aged 16 and above the opportunity to gain a recognised academic qualification whilst progressing their boxing fitness and skills.

The one-year programme is equivalent to two GCSEs, grade A*-C, and seeks to develop both coaching and performance excellence through the understanding of several key academic areas. Students will engage

in a full-time academic programme as well as structured boxing training sessions delivered by fully qualified coaches. Academic classes will take place at Belfast Met's Millfield campus, with and training at City Centre Gym Belfast/Frames Complex.

It is hoped that students will also compete The course covers a wide range of practical and theoretical modules such as practical sport, anatomy and physiology, nutrition for sports

performance, technical and tactical skills for sport and lifestyle and the sports performer. Students will also be given the opportunity to complete essential skills as well as gain an IABA level one boxing coaches' award.

Potential students can apply through the Belfast Met website, or alternatively contact John Mulhern - a former boxer with the Dockers club in Belfast - on 0785 5902093.

Malachy Scott, the secretary of the County Antrim board who is also a maths and IT teacher at the tech, is hopeful that a good intake this year could see the boxing academy become a permanent fixture. Speaking about the new course, former Belfast Met student and two-time Olympic bronze medallist Paddy Barnes said: "Belfast Met Boxing Academy is a great course, allowing boxers to stay at the top of their game, plus get an industry standard qualification at the same time."

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