Joy unconfined for Monkstown Boxing Club as the club’s Jake Rapple and Jack Marley landed All-Ireland glory last Friday night at the National Stadium at the Under-18 championships.
Both have been part of the club since they were very young boys with Rapple – son of club chairman Tommy – joining when he was six-years-old while Marley linked up with Monkstown at nine.
For Rapple, fighting at flyweight (52kg), it was his first national title and has been a long-time coming. He has been beaten in Dublin and All Ireland Finals since he has been competing as an 11-year-old – he has been extremely unlucky throughout the years.
But the Monkstown coaches knew they had an immense talent on their hands and, one day, he would get his just reward.
“The problem was keeping him motivated and involved in the sport after tasting finals defeat so many times,” said club coach JP Kinsella.
“It is a measure of the boy that he never gave up; last year he took some time out to complete his Leaving Certificate.
“Since September, he has been back in the club four nights a week and Saturday and Sunday mornings; he goes running six mornings a week and is extremely dedicated.
“This is a fantastic achievement for Jake and his family. He is a terrific example to all young boxers that ‘the hardest thing in boxing, is to keep doing it’.”
For Marley on the other hand, he was retaining the Irish heavyweight (91kg) crown that he won last year.
He previously represented Ireland at the European Youth Championships in Sofia, Bulgaria, losing in the quarter-finals to the eventual winner from France.
He will be hoping to go one step further this time in Montenegro and claim a medal and Kinsella hailed him as “another extremely dedicated boxer who also comes from a very supporting family – his grandfather Brendan Hanney claims to be the club’s number one supporter!”
Both have been added to the IABA High Performance Training Camps in the coming weeks of which Monkstown coach James Doyle is an integral part of the set-up.
The European tournament in Montenegro will take place from April 23 to May 3.