A young boxer, who has earned the first ever Irish Championship title for his club, has been honoured by the Mayor of Mid and East Antrim Borough, Councillor William McCaughey.
Two-time Olympic bronze medallist and Commonwealth champion boxer, Paddy Barnes, also joined in the celebrations for 13 year-old Harvey Cochrane, at Castle Boxing Club in Whitehead recently.
Despite his young age, Harvey is already making a massive impact in the sport, after his win in the All Ireland Championships in December past.
The talented sportsman has won all 15 of his contests since stepping into the ring at the age of seven.
To date, his impressive list of accolades include four County Antrim titles, three Ulster titles, and the Armagh/Down Championship.
During his visit to the club, the Mayor also congratulated two fellow promising boxers, Ben McCartney, who won silver in the recent Co Antrim Championships, and Luke Whitten, for his successes in the Ulster and Co Antrim Championships last season.
The Mayor said afterwards:
“I was delighted and honoured to be invited to Castle Boxing Club in Whitehead to see the genuinely impressive standard of sport there.
“The fantastic achievements of young Harvey, Ben and Lee, and all the other young boxers within the club, is testament to the dedication of the trainers, volunteers and supporters.
“The level of talent which exists across our entire sporting community in Mid and East Antrim is something to be so proud of, and it was a true privilege to meet all those associated with the club. Well done to all!”
Head Coach John Neill added:
“The club opened 12 years ago in Carrickfergus as a six-month project to help tackle anti-social behaviour within the borough. It’s been a great success but as every coach in the country will tell you, it’s hard work.
“However, when the club produces numerous champions over the years, inside and outside the ring, it makes it all worthwhile.
“Harvey came to the club at seven years of age. The moment I watched him hit a bag I knew from that minute I had someone very special.
“I have coached boxing for 15 years and have worked with some of the best in Ireland. I know what it takes to make it to the very top. Harvey has got it all in abundance. He is the best young talent I have seen in many years.”
Next on the horizon for Harvey is qualifying for Ireland in the European Schoolboy Championships in Turkey in August.