She’s swapped her elegant silk-and-chiffon gown for a pair of boxing gloves and the brutal sweat of the ring — but Rose of Tralee contestant Edel Buckley hasn’t looked back since her training began.
Last August she represented her native county at the Rose of Tralee competition in Kerry, but now she’s ditched the designer look and the high heels to enter the boxing ring.
And the 27-year-old Corkwoman is taking on her own big sister in a spectacular fund-raising tournament which features 36 fighters, just 10 of whom are women.
@JonnyMcgailey Signed up to do white collar boxing on the 22nd Nov. We can start training on Sunday!!— Edel Buckley (@EdelBuckley) October 8, 2013
For the past month or so, Edel and Marie Therese, 34, have joined the other newly-fledged boxers in the ring at Donoghmore Sports Complex every Tuesday and Thursday nights.
They’ve now almost completed the gruelling, six-week training course, which aims to prepare them for the big event on Friday, Nov 22.
— Edel Buckley (@EdelBuckley) October 8, 2013
Jerry Sheehan, along with fellow trainers Seanie Barrett and Graham Sheehan, is putting the 36 newbie fighters, who range in age from their 20s to their 40s, through their paces for the tournament, which aims to fund-raise €10,000 for the Donoughmore GAA and Ladies Football clubs.
“We have everything from students to self-employed electricians, carpenters, bank officials, engineers, block-layers, a publican and an accountant,” he said.
“All are new to the sport of boxing and some of them have long retired from sport,” said Jerry.
Edel, herself a former ladies footballer, signed up for the tournament after reading about it on Facebook.
The training has been hard going, she admits.
“We do jumping jacks and the plank as well as boxing techniques and bag-work, sparring and jabs and pad-work.
“It’s very challenging training and I’d be very tired after it.
“The first week or two I just wanted to go to bed as soon as I got home,” she said.
However, she confesses, that even after several weeks in the ring she and Marie Therese still hate the thought of hitting each other — even when they are practising.
“The fights will only last three 90-second rounds, though. I don’t think we’ll do much damage to each other — our mother would kill us,” she laughed.
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