independent

Wednesday 27 August 2014

Family 'bursting with pride' at achievement

Published 21/11/2012 | 09:15

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'So many times, it happens too fast. You trade your passion for glory. Don't lose your grip on the dreams of the past. You must fight just to keep them alive'. THOSE words - set to the iconic music of Survivor's ' Eye of the Tiger' - are the ones that European champion Amy Broadhurst no doubt had ringing in her ears after the boxing anthem was used as part of her remarkable celebration party at Colaiste Ris.

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The shy 15-year-old has been steadily and carefully moving further and further towards medal-winning glory and, on November 9, she was crowned European champion. It has been a long journey for the teenager, who first started in the 'family business' eight years ago. Her three brothers have won major national titles and her dad, Tony, is her coach.

As he watched his daughter being congratulated and hugged by her idol, Katie Taylor, Tony admitted he was ' bursting with pride' at her remarkable achievements. And while days like last Friday are certainly worth waiting for, all the sweat and tears behind the scenes seem a world away.

But Tony doesn't forget, even on days like that, how hard Amy has worked to achieve her dream. He said: 'As her dad and coach, I couldn't be happier for her today. I have been listening to her for eight years about her dreams of a European title. And it's OK talking about your hopes, what you think you can do, but it takes an awful lot of hard work and determination to make them come true.

'People see the winning and the days like this, but they don't see the hard work that goes into it'.

Amy comes from a line of winners – her brother Paul was the first boxer from the county to win a European schools' bronze, while Stephen has also tasted European glory and Paudie is an Irish title winner.

Amy, who is still just 15 and a member of Dealgan Boxing Club, has her sights set on the juvenile world championships next year, which she still had to qualify for. But it is the 2016 games in Rio de Janerio that really tantalises the imagination. A young Dundalk woman as the next Katie Taylor?

The synergies and similarities are there. Both Amy and Katie's dads are from England and both coach their daughters with whom they have a 'rare and special' bond, as principal Padraig Hamill says.

And exactly like Katie in the London final, Amy last Friday week beat a Russian opponent and was tied in the first round, behind in the second and came storming through the third.

Four years is a long time but it is the ultimate goal for Amy. And Tony is keen to stress that he didn't do it all on his own.

He said: ' The other Dealgan coaches – Jim O'Connor, Damien Douglas and Anto Donnelly – put a lot of work into Amy, and the other boxers too'.

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