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In the heart of the coalfields an extraordinary event brought together the boxing community and showcased talent, determination and sportsmanship.

The In-house Open Sparring Night, organised by Dig Deep Boxing in Dysart, emerged from a year of achievements and challenges, including extensive travel across Queensland, participation in national titles in Adelaide, and international representation.

Craig Storch, speaking on behalf of the organising team, shared that the event was not just a celebration of amateur boxing but a crucial initiative to support athletes financially, helping cover essential costs and ensuring their continued success in the sport.

The event saw an impressive turnout, with 92 boxers across 46 bouts demonstrating their skills, hailing from diverse regions such as Cairns, Townsville, Blackwater, and Mackay, among others.

This wide participation highlighted the event’s appeal and its role in bringing together the boxing community from across the state. The unfortunate absence of teams from Mt. Isa and Cloncurry, prevented by flooding, was a reminder of the challenges faced by regional athletes.

The presence of World Champion Boxer Barry Michael added a layer of inspiration and prestige to the event.

“It was a privilege to have an Australian Legend attend our event. Barry Michael knows all too well what it takes to make it in the boxing world and all the struggles and sacrifices made by parents, families, teams and coaches. He was blown away by the talent and skill displayed on the night.

“While our event was only a sparring night, we did try to get the bouts matches as close to competition standards as possible, weight, age, and experience so it gave the boxers who haven’t competed a feel of what it would be like being in the ring, in front of the crowd without having the pressure to produce results but instead use the experience to learn.”

Among the night’s highlights was Ciara Storch’s performance, demonstrating her prowess and role as a beacon for aspiring boxers.

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“I may be biased when I say this, but it’s a masterclass every time Ciara hops into the ring. At 17 she brings so much skill, knowledge and understanding of the sport of boxing,” said Craig.

“She is a great role model and ambassador. Her performance on the night was definitely a crowd favourite as she doesn’t disappoint. It was also a bittersweet night as that was the last time Ciara was sparring under the Dig Deep Competitive Boxing name as she is now moving into the next phase of her sporting career. What a way to end this chapter by having the three Storch’s participating on the night.”

Craig said organising an event of this magnitude in a regional setting presented logistical challenges, from securing necessary equipment to coordinating with sponsors and community resources.

“We haves an awesome team who worked tirelessly to make everything come together. The community and businesses helped heaps by offering their services and pointing us in the right direction on who to contact and who could help. The challenge for us was having to travel into Mackay to get the things we needed for the event, but all the travel and work put into the night was well worth it.”

Feedback from participants, spectators and sponsors was overwhelmingly positive, reflecting the event’s impact beyond the boxing ring. Not only a platform for athletes to hone their skills, but also an opportunity for the community to come together in support of local sports. The success of the Dysart Open Sparring Night has set the stage for it to become an annual fixture, promising to continue its role in promoting boxing, sportsmanship, and community spirit in regional Queensland.

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Thank you to all the sponsors! Cooper Mccullough Group, Orana Drill & Blast, HSM Contracting, Roads Queensland, National Pump & Energy, Country Roads, The Jellinbah Group and Explore Property, Total Generators, Mickala Group, Country Roads, Dysart Jolly Collier, Dysart Bakery, Thiess Peak Downs, Reeves Family Butchers Clermont, BMA Saraji, Dysart Gym, Emerald Cut Loose, Peak Downs Tyre Bay, Thomas Summers, Steve Crane, Sam Zwicker, Dakota Power, Dysart Community Centre, Dysart Devils Soccer Club, Dysart Lions Club.

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