Over the course of our interview the most striking thing about Sean and Paddy Headon is their seemingly boundless ambition. “There was another company with similar idea, and we performed at one of their nights,” Sean tells me, “I just thought, ‘we could do this more professionally’. Also, we weren’t happy with what they were raising. We thought they should be raising twice as much.” Thus, Headon Boxing was born.
Headon Boxing, established by the eponymous brothers, is a charity boxing company with the aim of raising awareness of certain issues via the medium of competitive boxing. Working with institutions such as Deloitte and UCD, Sean and Paddy have spent the past 12 months striving to popularise their alternative idea of a charity fundraiser. It is therefore unsurprising to discover that the boys are very hands-on in the way they run their events; a typical event sees them take between 24 and 32 participants and train them for 6 and 8 weeks, before finally putting them in the ring in a glamorous city centre location. Not content to simply manage the sporting aspect of an event, they also take control of the publicity surrounding the affair – using the training time to cultivate a social media presence.
Although the idea was not their own, it has undoubtedly become associated with the brothers over the last 12 months. They have run an incredible 10 events in that timeframe, including their enormously successful night in association with SUAS during last year’s RAG week, an event which attracted over 400 spectators, raising almost €8000. The event saw participants from over 20 college societies, including both the Phil and the Hist and is due to be followed up by an event after Christmas. It is their recent event, however, that might be their most worthwhile yet – this month the pair are hosted ‘Fight Like a Girl’, which took place on October 18.
The night was a blockbuster event, with 28 individuals stepping into the ring for the first time; however, the night was tinged with sadness, being held in honour of Órla Quill and Ana Hick, two teenage students who tragically passed away last year. Considering this, it is not a surprise to learn that the fundraising target was set for €10,000, a jump up from the average of €8,000 they usually raise per event, and the most any individual event have raised. All funds raised from the night went directly to the Mater Hospital’s intensive care unit, the unit which cared for both of these young women.
Whilst the charitable aspect might be considered fresh-faced, Sean and Paddy have been boxing themselves since they were in Transition Year, a move they confess was unusual given the lack of previous interest in the sport in the family; however, they quickly developed their skill and went on to claim Irish titles. From there, the transition into coaching seemed natural. When the pair arrived at college, they were already well-primed to found Headon Boxing; all that was needed was the final push – the aforementioned charity fight night, run by a different company, which opened their eyes to the charitable nature of Irish students.
The charity aspect might have been what inspired the brothers to found the company, but it is by no means the only dimension to Headon Boxing. The company offers personal training sessions, working with professional sportspeople and businessmen alike; 60 minute, high-intensity fitness classes, designed to burn calories alongside teaching boxing technique. They juggle this with the demands of their final year of Business, Economics and Social Studies. This is an impressive feat, and marks them out clearly as amongst Trinity College’s most outstanding students.
To get involved in the upcoming SUAS Fight Night event, contact SUAS at [email protected] or on their facebook page.
Interested in hosting your own charity fight night? Find out how here.