During the weekend I was both honoured and fortunate enough to be chosen as part of a 12-person strong squad to represent the Cork Boxing Academy for a Cork v Bristol tournament. It was my first time fighting out of the country and was a spectacular experience.
I had an early start to my day, having to be up and out of the house for no later than 3.30 to be in Cork City for approx. 4.30 to catch the airport bus to take us to Dublin airport. Though the airport bus wasn’t scheduled to leave the city until 5pm, the Academy managers wanted the team to be there early so as to ensure everyone would be together. It was early, and absolutely freezing, but I was already super excited for the next 2 days.
Checking in, as a team for our flight proved to arise issues, as Aer Lingus tried to tell us that two people wouldn’t be able to travel on the flight to Bristol, as they had taken it upon them to downsize the aircraft that morning. I was quite disappointed at the lack of reliability on Aer Lingus’ behalf, as things like this simply shouldn’t happen, and the option of two people flying into London and getting transported to Bristol from London was simply awkward, as we had a timetable to follow that day. We were lucky enough that Aer Lingus got two volunteers to give up their seats, which was so very kind of them.
We landed into Bristol, and were immediately transported to Western Beach, where we grabbed a lunch at The Bay café, and then spent some time on the beach. The weather was lovely, so we were very fortunate.
After the beach, we went for a training session in a local boxing club, followed by dinner and then back to the hotel. We stayed at the Holiday Inn Express, North Bristol. The hotel facilities were superb. All the boxers were in bed quite early Friday, as it had been a long day, and we were all told Saturday would be even busier.
We were up for breakfast at 10.30 Saturday morning. The breakfast was self-service and had a range of cereals, fruits and yoghurts, as well as scrambled eggs, bacon and sausages, with toast, croissants, tea and coffee.
We were collected from the hotel at 11.30, and the weather was, again, spectacular! Our day trip was to the SS Great Britain at the Western Dockyard. I actually really enjoyed this trip. I think I’m beginning to like museums a lot, and though this isn’t quite a museum it was to the same effect of a museum.
After our trip to the SS Great Britain, we visited another boxing club, where we had our dinner in the youth club side of the boxing club. We then went back to the hotel to allow the boxers a few hours to relax before it was time to go to the tournament.
The tournament was lovely, and the boxing was really good, and all the fights were evenly matched. Unfortunately I lost to the current British champion by a split decision. I thought I did enough to win, but being on away soil it was always going to be tougher.
However, I had an absolutely wonderful stay, and I simply cannot wait to visit again, already!
Our Sunday was pretty basic- get up, have our breakfast, check-out and airport.