As part of their preparations for the Rio Olympic Games, some of Northern Ireland’s top boxing stars have taken part in an intensive training camp at Sport Northern Ireland’s Sports Institute in Jordanstown over the last fortnight. Among those participating were Olympic qualified boxers Michael Conlan, Paddy Barnes, Steven Donnelly and Joe Ward, as well as the Ulster High Performance and Elite teams.

With the AOB European Olympic Qualifiers coming up in April and World Elite Women’s Championships and Olympic qualifiers taking place in May, the camp also provided important training opportunities for those boxers still pursuing qualification for Rio, including World Elite and Olympic Champion Katie Taylor, Commonwealth Games silver medallist Michaela Walsh and European Games silver medallist Brendan Irvine.

During the camp athletes took part in a series of strength and conditioning training sessions, bag and pad sessions, as well as test matches which gave the local fighters valuable opportunities for competitive spars with elite opposition from other nations, including members of the Russian senior team.

The boxers were all training under the tutelage of Head Coach Zaur Antia and Ulster High Performance Coach John Conlan. Also on-hand throughout the two-week camp were the specialist service providers working at the Sports Institute who work year-round with Northern Ireland’s elite amateur boxers, providing support in a number of areas including physiology, nutrition, physiotherapy, strength and conditioning and performance analysis.

Welcoming the camp, Sport Northern Ireland Chair Brian Henning commented:

“The anticipation for the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio is building across Northern Ireland and for our athletes the hard work and preparation continues to build also. Sport Northern Ireland and our staff at the Sports Institute have been proud to support our local elite boxers and their coaches over the last seven years. This training camp provides yet another great opportunity to collaborate with the athletes, coaches and support staff, providing the expertise and specialist advice to help maximise athletic performance. We look forward to continuing to offer tailored support to our Olympic athletes in the run-up to the Games, and to what we hope will be further medal success for local boxing.”

More photos from the camp can be found on our Facebook page here.