This past year has been busy for boxer Kellie Harrington. From coming home from the Tokyo Olympics with a gold medal, to her wedding in April, she has now started a new journey as a Dublin City Sports Ambassador alongside Paralympic gold medalist, Ellen Keane.
In an announcement on Monday, both athletes were announced to be members of the Dublin City Sports Ambassador Programme as part of a three-year deal.
“I'm trying to get people moving and trying to get people active,” said Harrington. “Once people are active and they're moving, then they start to feel good, and they start to feel better about themselves.”
The programme is intended to bring attention to the efforts from DCC to promote active living and help to boost the health of the city’s citizens through various sports programmes and facilities accessible to all the people in Dublin.
Both Harrington and Keane will support the program by encouraging people across the city to adopt an active lifestyle through these sports programmes that have been implemented by DCC.
Teaming up with @keane_ellen as @DubCityCouncil sport ambassadors to help promote the benefits of sport and physical activity in Dublin, while highlighting the importance of a wide and varied sporting infrastructure for a healthy and happy city #TrueBlue https://t.co/q2wbDs3SHM
— Kellie Harrington (@Kelly64kg) May 30, 2022
During the announcement yesterday, Lord Mayor of Dublin, Alison Gilliland spoke about the benefits of a programme like this, not only in relation to physical activity, but also in relation to positive social engagement.
“It allows people to engage positively with their neighbours and community, and provides an essential social outlet to many people who would otherwise be left isolated and alone,'' said Gilliland. “The services DCC provides bring people together, helps to build communities and provides a focus for collective identity and belonging.”
Later this summer, Harrington is also set to be awarded the Freedom of Dublin by Lord Mayor, Alison Gilliland. She will be receiving this award for not only her excellence in boxing, but also for her position as a role model within Dublin.
“What I really love is that I might encourage one little boy or girl to take up the gloves or to get into a running club or something,” said Harrington on being a role model. “By encouraging them, they're going into their school, or they’re hanging out with their friends, and their friends are seeing what they're doing, and they're like, well, Jesus, I might get into that. So they're also role models and to their friends.”
In the ring, Harrington has her sights set on boxing at the European Championships later this year. She also spoke glowingly of the recent success of Team Ireland at the World Boxing Championships in Turkey.
"The performance of all the girls out there was absolutely fantastic," said Harrington. "Some of them missed out on medals by the narrowest of margins. I do also know that their time will come and they know that too."
"For them [Lisa O'Rourke and Amy Broadhurst] to come back home as two World Champions is fantastic."