Dublin’s Smithfield BoxingClub supports the Eastern European boxing tradition in Ireland and gives youngsters from Russian speaking families an opportunity to train with coaches who speak their mother tongue.
The club was set up in 2008. One of its founders is Ukrainian-born boxing coach Igor Khmil. Other Eastern European coaches help run the club, including Sergey Pavlov and Arthur Dergach from Latvia. In a relatively short time this boxing club has managed to produce several highly successful fighters who represented Ireland at international level. The club has also organized a series of major international tournaments in Dublin.
One of Smithfield’s most accomplished students is George Boylan – he represented Ireland at the European Boxing Championship, which took place in Ukraine in 2010. Russian-speaking fighters who train at Smithfield have also attained great results. One of them is Kiril Afanasiev, originally from St Petersburg. Coaches are certain that the club’s young students, such as Simon Andryushchenko and Kiril Shidenko from Ukraine, will also become great boxers. “They are still children, but they have great prospects”, says Igor Khmil.
Coaches at Smithfield maintain their links with Eastern European boxing clubs and utilize them in order to organize major international competitions. The club regularly brings boxing teams from Russia, Ukraine and the Baltic countries to Dublin. For a week, the foreign boxers train with the club’s Irish students who benefit greatly from the exchange. The tournaments also attract many supporters from Ireland’s Eastern European community who mix with the Irish and make friends, which helps their integration into Irish society.
In 2010 and 2011 the club held big international competitions which pitted Dublin’s best fighters against boxers from Russia and Ukraine, some of whom have won national and international championships. Guests of these events included TDs, the Lord Mayor of Dublin as well as diplomats from the Russian and Ukrainian embassies. In March 2011 the club organized another international tournament with teams from Ireland, Estonia and Latvia taking part.
Smithfield amateur boxing club
Aughrim Street Sports Hall, Aughrim Street, Dublin 7.
087 9552654 (Igor Khmil)