We caught up with John Doran from Kildare Sports Partnership this morning to have a quick chat bout the Integration Through Sport Programme.


The programme is proving to be highly successful with 16 participants engaging on a regular basis.


John was very excited to share that they have participants from the Traveller community,  and  also have a number of participants from ethnic backgrounds (Latvian, Estonian, etc), there are also participants of both genders taking part and to cater for this.


He went on to say  that they now have a female Garda, who is stationed in Naas (Mairead Whiteley) has came on board to support Eric with the coaching. Mairead is a Leinster Champion boxer. We also have received valuable assistance from Mr Liam Mooney of the Garda Diversion Project who recruited and transports a number of participants from the diversion project to the venue for the workshops.


This weeks sees the completion of workshop number 4 of 9, and they will finish on Saturday December 18th with a trip to the National Boxing Stadium and a visit to the Elite Performance Gym where participants will get a chance to step into the Boxing Ring and experience the atmosphere where our National Boxing Team and our Olympians train and fight in National and International Boxing tournaments.


Please check out the videos below to see some of the participants in action!


John also stated that a huge amount of inter-agency,  engagement and partner work has been involved in bringing this programme successfully to life so he wanted to extend thanks to the following:


Mr Syl Merrins coordinator KSP, Ms Anne Daly and Mr Pat Leogue from County Kildare LEADER Partnership, Healthy Ireland coordinator; Laura Kelly, Mr Liam Mooney of the Garda Diversion Project, St Michaels Boxing Club, Garda Sean O’ Mahoney, Garda Gary Cogan, and Garda Mairead Whiteley for your valuable support and invaluable input into the programme to date.


I am absolutely delighted to be able to share some feedback with you all today too, one of the parents shared this with me during the week:


“The integration course is fantastic, thanks to all involved. It’s a fantastic opportunity for her daughter. She told us the other night that it was the best fun she’s ever had in her life, well, my heart nearly burst. She’s a lovely young person and this is exactly the opportunity she needed.

Thanks again”


We wish John and all the team the very best for the rest of the programme and look forward to seeing photos from the trip at the end of the course!

John Doran is the Community Sports Development Officer with Kildare Sports Partnership and can be contacted at – johndoran@countykildarelp.ie