Kirk rallies for indoor athletic track

Published Tuesday, 13 November 2012
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Some of Northern Ireland's rising stars in athletics did their bit for the sport they love on Tuesday.

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Katie Kirk, who lit the cauldron at the opening ceremony during the London Olympic Games, was joined by six other local athletes in a bid to change government policy.

They are seeking the construction of a much needed indoor athletics training facility, something that is crucial because of the weather in Northern Ireland.

"Every year we go away warm weather training at Easter or from January time," explained Katie.

"We need to do that because there's nowhere to train where it's pleasant in Northern Ireland.

"We do not have the best weather so I think it's kind of important that we are able to train to the best of our ability all times of the year."

The athletes ran the length of the Stormont mall and handed over a signed petition to Green Party MLA Steven Agnew.

The petition which was signed by more than 350 local athletes and coaches and Mr Agnew said this is an opportunity for Northern Ireland to capitalise on the Olympic legacy.

"Olympic success does not just happen overnight. It takes years of training, nurturing and dedication and if we want success in the future, we need to invest now.

"Sports people from across Northern Ireland believe that a planned strategy, coupled with a dedicated indoor all-year training facility would encourage more people to get involved athletics and help Northern Ireland nurture elite athletes and Olympic hopefuls of the future," he added.

Once the petition was delivered to the MLA, he gave a presentation to the Assembly calling on the politicians to develop a plan to support Northern Ireland athletics.

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