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Kellie Harrington on boxing's positive influence: "I was going down the wrong path"

Dublin's Kellie Harrington says taking up boxing as a teenager took her down the right path in life.

The 2018 women's world boxing champion joined Sky Sports scholar Ellen Keane and Ciara Mageean on Off The Ball's  'Keane and Mageean: Unleashed'.

She admitted from a very young age that she was heading towards trouble but boxing changed that.

"Basically when I was younger, I was going down the wrong pathway. I suppose there two pathways you can go down.

"One is the right path, and one is the wrong one. I was heading down the wrong one at a very early age.

Harrington says she suffered academically but was exceptional aware of her surroundings on the inner-city streets.

"I was very mature. Academically not very smart but streetwise, very smart. I knew that I was doing was wrong. I knew I had to change something and I knew sport was good,' admitted the world champion.

She took up boxing between the age of 14 and 15 and believes the number of gyms in the inner-city made her decide to join a gym instead of attempting another sport.

"Boxing is very well know in the inner-city, there is a boxing club on every second corner, nearly - so that was how I ended up getting into boxing.

The 2016 light-welterweight silver medalist believes combat sports are the best form of discipline for anybody looking to maintain a regimented lifestyle.

Harrington says she got away with nothing outside of the gym because of her coaches' strict trying training and disciplinary regimes.

"It's the best discipline you could have. The coaches, they let you away with nothing.

Harrington says her dream was never to complete in the Olympics but to take her life on a positive path, saying she only realised her potential after she earned a silver medal at the World Boxing Championships in Astana in 2016.

"To be honest with you, I never had a dream of the Olympic games because I started boxing to take me on a different journey in my life.

"As long I was on a different journey, my goal was to take me off the wrong path on to the right path. It wasn't until 2016, when I actually started believing that I could actually do something with my career, with boxing."

Ireland's Olympic medalist hopeful praised her community for providing a support network that makes her feel proud to represent an area that supports her in victory and defeat.

"They are not just there for the good times; they are there for the bad times as well"

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20 For 20 2020 Olympic Games Boxing Boxing World Championships Combat Sport Kellie Harrington Lidl Tokyo 2020

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