THEY are usually in a fight for possession on the pitch but on November 22 a group of GAA players from the University of Limerick and Limerick Institute of Technology will be battling it out in the ring.
Students from the rival colleges will go pound for pound in a white collar boxing fight night at the University Arena that promises to pack a punch in a bid to raise money for their respective GAA clubs.
After six weeks of intensive training, the group of brave girls and guys will be taking on the challenge of a lifetime when they climb into a boxing ring for the first time in a competitive competition to see which college comes out on top.
It is anticipated that there will be in the region of 10 fights on the night each consisting of three rounds lasting at a minute and a half each.
“It’s great that we have the chance to work together on something like this. We really only see each other on the side-line,” said Eddie O’Sullivan, GAA games development officer at LIT.
The training programme is currently up and running with all students training together both at LIT and UL.
“The first three weeks of training are in UL and the next three weeks will be here in LIT,” explained Patsy Morrissey, GAA games development officer at UL.
According to Patsy who is from Newtownshandrum, the whole idea is that “you start from scratch”.
“It’s a fundraiser - it’s not a war,” he smiled.
The organisers are hoping for an attendance of around 1,500 “which will make it a great night” with the proceeds going towards the GAA clubs in both colleges including coaching teams, and paying for buses, meals and gear.
The GAA club at the University of Limerick caters for 14 teams with approximately 30 members on each panel.
The GAA club at LIT meanwhile, caters for nine teams, seven male and two female and members also represent the college in handball.
“At the end of the day, the onus is going to be on the students to make this a success - it’s as simple as that,” said Eddie who hails from Kilfinane.
“I’m fierce lucky here with not only the cooperation and the interest that our students have in playing but also the interest they have in the club. We are lucky here in that there is a GAA club and Paul Browne the Limerick senior hurler is chairman of that,” he added.
With both colleges competing for bragging rights, the banter in one student house is more intense than most.
John Guilfoyle and Podge Collins live together but will be on opposing teams on the night at John attends LIT while Podge attends UL.
White Collar Boxing a Dublin-based company will run the event and provide all the gear for the night including the ring, referees and the medical assistance.
A curtain raiser to the boxing will be the fresher’s match between LIT and UL which will take place under lights at the Gaelic Grounds on Sunday, November 18 at 7pm. Entry is free.
See next week’s edition for more.
Tickets for the boxing event are available from both clubs and will be available both at the event and at the fresher’s match. Tickets for the boxing event are priced at €15 which includes entry to the post match party in Kilmurry nightclub.