Kilkenny sensation, Clare Grace will box her way into the history books when she jets out to Hungary at the weekend with the Irish team.
The hard hitting Callan club welterweight (69kgs) will be part of the first Irish ladies team that will participate in the European Elite championships.
Clare, an Irish champion at junior, under-21 and Elite level, will be part of the squad with Olympic Games gold medal winner, Katie Taylor. The Irish are sending an eight strong Elite team to the championships, and they will also send junior and youths squads to competitions that will run simultaneously.
The championships begin on Friday, and the action will be intense until the finish on July 8. Clare made a successful international debut some time ago when the Irish ladies boxed in a tournament against a Dutch team. That was the first time Ireland fielded a ladies team.
A Germany team spent eight days in Ireland recently at a training camp with the Irish as the girls were put through a punishing pre-tournament programme. From Sunday the Irish had their own camp based in a hotel in Johnstown, Kildare, and after being allowed home for a short break to visit family on Thursday, they will jet out to Hungary on Sunday.
Clare, who is coached by the wily Jimmy Walsh in Callan, has just completed the first year of her studies in DCU, where she is following a course in Science, Sport and Health. She is daughter of Michel and Eileen Grace, Tullahought.
An interesting inclusion on the Irish juvenile team heading to Hungary is Leah Roche. She was introduced to boxing by Mr Walsh. She has moved to live in Kildare and is currently a member of the St Brigid’s club.