Wave of young women inspired by boxer Katie
A YOUNG Dubliner was inspired by Katie Taylor to take up boxing -- and now she could be one of the country's best hopes at the Olympics.
Drimnagh boxing middleweight Sinead Kavanagh is fast becoming one of the ones to watch ahead of the nominations for representation at London 2012.
And she credits World Champion Taylor for bringing the women's sport to the fore and inspiring her to follow her dream.
"I wasn't an international boxer a year and half ago and now I'm up there with the best," Sinead said.
"I can do it, I know I can. It's the dream, it's what you want to do. It would change my life."
She is now training with her coach Tony Davitt at Drimnagh boxing club every day in the hope of clinching the nomination.
Hundreds of young girls have also been spurred on by Katie's successes.
Monkstown Boxing Club coach Paul Kinsella said that they are signing up new female members every day who hope to follow in the footsteps of the Bray hero.
"She'd be a big driving force," he told the Herald.
"Girls are definitely more interested -- especially when they're looking up to the likes of Taylor -- who is pound for pound one of the best athletes in the world."
The club was also featured on RTE's Capital D as they ran a schools programme to recruit girls and boys to the club -- and the figures are looking promising. "A total of 10 girls and 14 boys signed up," Paul said. "We have these girls now, and although they're pretty raw, we have another 15 other girls ranging from 10 years of age up to up 30 years."
"The girls are bringing in medals all over the place. There's a huge support for the women's sport for the Olympics -- especially with Katie."
Boxer Mandy Loughlin (22), from the club, is going for intermediates competition this year and said that the sport has been revolutionised.
"I've been kickboxing and interested in martial arts since I was six years of age but boxing only in the last two or three years," she said.
"It's easy enough to find a club now -- it's a lot more open."
"Even some of the senior coaches, their eyes are open to the idea of female boxing since Katie Taylor," she added.