Published Thursday, 09 August 2012
Carál Ní Chuilín said that boxing clubs badly needed better facilities. (© UTV)
The Minister revealed the plan as Belfast boxer Paddy Barnes has secured at least a bronze medal at the 2012 Olympic Games in London.
She said the investment was badly needed for clubs that have previously received little support.
"Over £3m will be invested through Sport NI, it's an initial investment but it is to make sure that boxing clubs have the facilities that are fit for purpose, because at the minute many of them don't," the minister said.
"Other sports do need investment and they will always need investment, but boxing out of them all has received the least investment for decades."
Minister Ní Chuilín was speaking in advance of a visit to the St John Bosco Club in West Belfast on Thursday as the two Belfast boxers are now guaranteed medals.
The Minister said: "What Michael Conlan and Paddy Barnes have achieved so far is fantastic. It is a credit to the coaches and staff here at St John Bosco Club and at clubs across the north of Ireland that they produce high calibre boxers like Michael Conlan and Paddy Barnes in what are generally pretty poor conditions.
"In communities like this one and across the North, boxing is much more than a sport, it is a life-saver. It takes children off the street, it invests in those children, it gives them a sense of self worth, it gives them a sense of discipline to perform and they perform not only for themselves and for their clubs, but as Michael Conlan and Paddy Barnes and the other great local boxers have shown, they can perform at the highest level.
"With the right investment, there is no doubt that boxing will continue to go from strength to strength."
Fellow Olympic medal winner Hugh Russell, who secured his bronze in the 1980 Games, said local success at the 2012 Games has created further interest in the sport.
"It just generates interest in clubs, it's unbelievable when the Olympics is on, especially when a club brings success at how many new kids you get through the door," he said.
© UTV News