On Monday, 13th June 2011, St. Saviours Olympic Boxing Academy will officially re-open its doors, in the presence of President of Ireland, Mary McAleese to reveal a newly refurbished clubhouse.
This momentous occasion, achieved in conjunction with Dublin City Council, the National Lottery and the Department of, Tourism, Culture and Sport, will take place at 6.30pm in the historic surroundings of the Old Dorset Street Fire Station, Dorset Street, Dublin 1. The Old Dorset Street Fire Station was originally built in 1901 by C.J. McCarthy, and has housed St. Saviour’s Olympic Boxing Academy since 1964.
The cost of the refurbishment works for the entire building are in the region of €650,000. Following 9 months of extensive refurbishment, the famed clubhouse, which resides in the heart of Dublin’s North Inner City, now boasts:
- A new extension wing with an extended gym training area
- 50% increase in training floor space
- Relocation and upgrading of male and female changing rooms, as well as the installation of accessible facilities for disabled persons
- An up-graded fire alarm system and emergency lighting
According to Thomas Ahern, Secretary of St. Saviours: “Prior to the refurbishment, the clubhouse, which is 110 years old, had only very basic facilities and limited floor space. The vision was to find a way to develop the club into a safe, fit for purpose boxing gymnasium that could cater for more young people from North Dublin Inner City, help all its young members to reach their full potential and produce the calibre of boxing champions required to compete on a National and International level. Thanks to the many organisations that got behind this initiative and helped us to secure grants and funding, our clubhouse has been transformed into a state-of-the-art boxing
club that will enable us to deliver the St. Saviour’s experience to an even greater number of young people from the area. We are absolutely thrilled that the President of Ireland will be joining us on Monday to help us celebrate and commemorate this significant achievement. It will be a great day – not only for the club but also for the surrounding area of Dublin’s North Inner City.”
The club received funding and support from a number of sources such as:
- €275,000 from the Department of Tourism, Culture and Sport, achieved with back-up references from PACE, RAPID and various other local and community-based groups who were instrumental in the application for funding
- A top-up grant in the amount of €82,500 was secured from RAPID, which was awarded to help with additional costs for the project. Both grants fell under funding of the National Lottery.
- €271,770 was awarded from the O’Connell Street Integrated Area Plan Community Gain fund.
- Dublin City Council ; the club’s landlords, has provided funding, offered invaluable support, service and experience throughout the project and also successfully managed and delivered the project on time and within budget.
- Refurbishment works were carried out by the Owenbee Group.
St. Saviours is one of Ireland’s most famous amateur boxing clubs, having produced some of the country’s greatest boxing champions namely Stephen Collins, the WBO World Middleweight and Super Middleweight champion, and the late Darren Sutherland, Middleweight Bronze medallist in the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing China. The Club was also the subject of a film made about the club and its boxers, eponymously entitled Saviours.