Deanna tipped for the top

Thursday, 23 August 2018

Deanna tipped for the top thumbnailCap: Deanna Parke

THE coach of talented Bushmills boxer Deanna Parke believes the 15-year-old can go all the way to the top.
Ciaran Quinn, who helps run St John's ABC in Swatragh, has been Deanna's trainer for the last three years and has praise for the talented athlete who has been an All-Ireland champion.
“Deanna has been here since she was 12-years-old and was beaten in the Irish final having won the Ulster Championship. Following that she kept progressing and retained her Ulster title before becoming Irish champion a year later," he said.
“This year she won another Ulster final but was beaten in the Irish final via judges decision. It was a close bout but she was defeated 3-2.
“She has been the Ulster champion for the last three or four years so it's been brilliant so far and long may it continue.
“She is a bit young to be thinking about any long-term aims but we will keep picking away and see where it takes us.
“Deanna was in Offaly recently for an eight day training camp and took it upon herself to go there as it was off-season for her.
“It was a great learning curve for Deanna as there were other competitors from across the world and she was sparring with English, Italian and Spanish boxers.
“She trains hard and isn't shy! There have been plenty of times where she has boxed with the boys. She has won the Derry and District and North-West Championships, but it's a shame there isn't more competition for the girls."
Ciaran was full of praise for Deanna's commitment to the sport as she makes the journey to Swatragh twice a week, as well as keeping an eye on her fitness and weight.
He also believes the Ballycastle High pupil has the perfect blend of spending time on her studies and the sport.
“Deanna comes here twice a week for training, with a commute from Bushmills to Swatragh taking 45 minutes. She would also go running in her spare time," he added.
“She attends Ballycastle High School and as far as I know, there are no problems combining school work with her boxing. By all accounts she enjoys school and gels in well with everyone.
“A big compliment I can pay Deanna is that she knows her weight and keeps herself in good condition. At her age, she has to have fun, but in boxing you're either in it or you're not, and Deanna is definitely dedicated."
Deanna is related to local MMA fighter Norman Parke and Ciaran believes the family connection is an ideal platform for her rise in the sport.
He also hopes that the careers of local boxers such as Carl Frampton will help grow the sports popularity as a whole in Northern Ireland.
“I think she takes that from her cousin Norman Parke who is obviously a well-known athlete in the world of Martial Arts," he continued.
“It's fair to say that Norman's career could be used as a motivation for Deanna as he is a great role model and an inspiration.
“Also boxing here in general is on the rise as we have some very good amateurs and the event just held at Windsor Park with Carl Frampton was excellent.
“All this is important as boxing wouldn't be labelled as a big sport like football and rugby here."
Ciaran admits he enjoys his hobby of being a boxing coach but knows funds are important for his club to keep their lights on.
“I love being a boxing coach more than my work and I don't get paid for it," he concluded.
“It is very stressful but the ups are unbelievable and the downs aren't so good, but that's sport.
“The club was opened in 2010 but the hall was derelict and it's been done up since with a new roof, floor, and equipment. We have had visits from Ryan Burnett and Paddy Barnes which has been great.
“We have to self-fund but we have had a few grants from the Magherafelt Council which was valuable.
“A grant has been passed for us to have a weights room out the back and that will prove to be excellent for us.
“We run our own shows to improve club funds as money doesn't last too long.
“ We had to go to Dublin for events over 30 times last season and that often includes an overnight stay."
One thing is for sure - it won't be long before the name Deanna Parke is as well known as Carl Frampton and the small club of St John's ABC will be well and truly on the map!


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