Newry teenager Kane Tucker boxes clever to corner Dame Mary Trust award
Kane Tucker, a 16-year old student at St Joseph's High School, Newry, took up boxing at the tender age of six and is the latest young sportsperson to receive the Rainbow Communications Sports Award in partnership with the Mary Peters Trust.
The Trust was set up by 1972 Olympic pentathlon gold medal winner Dame Mary specifially to aid young competitors like Kane, who recently competed at the the European Elite Championships in Hungary will use the funding to help further his progress.
He traces his passion for the sport back family gatherings in front of the TV to watch the great fighters in action: "I used to sit up with my dad Barry and brother Jake and watch all the big fights on TV and that really inspired me to focus all my sporting interests and dreams into boxing.
"Even at my relatively young age, boxing has been very good to me and I have already won six Irish titles and a European Bronze medal but the dream goes on. My long term goal is to represent Ireland at the 2020 Olympic Games.
"I am delighted to be a recipient of this award and it will help me buy some much needed kit and to develop my technical ability. I also intend to continue to focus on my education as you need to get the right balance between success in and out of the ring.
"Boxing has taught me many things but the overriding lesson has been one of respect for your opponent - although we go toe to toe in the ring at the end of the fight we always embrace as a sign of total respect.
"Success in boxing is all about how well you prepare yourself and normally I will have 5/6 training sessions a week. With the European Championships on the horizon I train twice sometimes three times a day, so I am going to use my bursary to help with specialist training and equipment which will help me towards my goals. This is why I'm very grateful to Rainbow Communications and the Mary Peters Trust for their support."
Stuart Carson from Rainbow Communications, Northern Ireland's largest independent business telecoms company, said: "Northern Ireland has a rich boxing history and it's great to see new talent like Kane Tucker coming through and helping to keep that tradition going. Being able to recognise and reward talent at an early age is an important aspect of our partnership with the Mary Peters Trust."
Eilish Rutherford, Chair of the Mary Peters Trust, added: "I thoroughly enjoy watching boxing and I know the commitment and dedication that is required to get to this level. Kane is a talented young athlete from a talented family and I know he will go even further. He will travel, make friends and mostly have fun. I want to wish him the best of luck."
To apply for Trust funding, go to www.marypeterstrust.org