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Profile: Darren Sutherland

Darren SutherlandCurrent Irish middleweight boxing champion, Darren Sutherland (24) is combining training for the Olympics with studying sports science at DCU.

Darren left school in Ireland at 15 to move to Sheffield where he trained with Prince Naseem’s trainer. While living there he completed an A-Level in Sports Studies but decided to return home aged 20 and complete his Leaving Cert.

He attended secondary school in Dunboyne and started 5th year. The school said they were taking a bit of gamble taking a 20-year-old boxer into a class full of 17-year-olds, especially considering he could have decked any teacher he wanted! It turned out he was a model pupil and was named student of the year.

He realised that if boxing didn’t work out then he’d have nothing to fall back on so decided to apply for Sports Science in DCU and was accepted. Darren feels studying Sports Science seemed like a natural progression to build on his existing sports knowledge.

In first year he studied general science topics - physics, chemistry, biology as well as computers, physiology and anatomy. But as his academic career was taking off his boxing form returned and he competed in the World Championships. Now he has decided to focus on the Olympics and is studying part-time.

Anatomy and physiology are Darren’s specialities academically. He also likes the process of learning and applying his new found knowledge to his boxing. He finds his science knowledge is helping his training and he can now pinpoint where he is going wrong or how he has injured himself. A big help is being able to communicate with his physio on a more technical level.

He trains both on Dorset Street and with the National Squad at the National Boxing Stadium and is going on a training camp to Cyprus in November.

Darren is recovering from an almost career ending injury (two fractures to his eye socket) and is gung-ho about getting to the Olympics and embarking on a professional career. However his next challenge will be the World Championships in September.

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