Owner of Benny’s Deli and Chairperson of The Hub committee, Benny O’Connell, says Castlerea is a on high following Aoife’s heroic performances in Paris last weekend.
“The whole town is buzzing. This is a huge achievement for Aoife and she will be an Olympian now for the rest of her life,” he told the Roscommon People this week.
“We want to add our congratulations to Aoife on her truly massive achievement. It’s a huge boost and reward for Castlerea Boxing Club, who were the first users of The Hub when it opened in 2004. It’s also payback for Paddy and Helen Sharkey because these things don’t happen by accident…they take years of hard work and dedication”.
Benny paid tribute to Aoife’s coaches and also her own “dogged” determination.
“It’s half talent and half dedication and it’s not easy training nights and through bad weather and difficult days,” he said.
The Hub’s hard-working committee and “unsung hero” Brian Stenson also received glowing praise for their Chairperson.
“We are lucky to have such a dedicated committee, most of whom have been with us from the very beginning. Manager Brian Stenson is certainly the unsung hero and he makes us all look good! We can now share in the reflected glory of what Aoife has achieved in qualifying for the Olympic Games in Tokyo.
“There’s great value for money in local volunteer groups but the application processes for funding and grants need to be more user-friendly,” he added, “The criteria should be a group’s previous track record and not their ability to wade through red tape and piles of paperwork.
“This is an example to all volunteer groups that if you keep working at it good things can happen,” he concluded.