NI boxing to get £3m investment

Published Thursday, 09 August 2012
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The Sports Minister Carál Ní Chuilín has revealed a £3m investment programme to improve facilities for boxing in Northern Ireland.

NI boxing to get £3m investment
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
Comments Comments
Thomas in Belfast wrote (896 days ago):
To those complaining about these guys representing "The Republic"....The Irish Amateur Boxing Association organises, develops, fosters and controls amateur boxing across Ireland (including Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland). The IABA is the national governing body (NGB) for amateur boxing in the country. Boxing clubs in Ireland are represented and supported at county, provincial and national level. Boxing clubs affiliate to the IABA and are then entitled to compete at each of these three levels. The IABA has established six 'provincial councils' for Ulster, Leinster, Connaught, Munster, Antrim, and Dublin. Although Antrim and Dublin are not among the four traditional provinces of Ireland, separate councils were set up due to large volumes of boxing clubs in these two areas. Each county in Ireland is also represented by its own 'county board'.
Big Jim in Fermanagh wrote (898 days ago):
Have to agree with the majority of earlier comments. Why should NI money be spent subsidising some boxers who then put them forward to fight under the flag of the Irish Republic? Seems crazy to me. You don't see Dail Eiraen subsidising Ulster Rugby for instance. I am sure this money isn't being earmarked for boxing, by a Sinn Fein minister, funny enough, just because they seem to have an all Ireland agenda. I am sure that would never happen!
Matt in Ulster wrote (898 days ago):
I encourage and welcome any form of investment in sport here in Northern Ireland, but surely the Irish government should be investing money in boxing here in Northern Ireland after all they are the ones who are benefiting from our athletes at the olympics!
Paul in Belfast, UK wrote (898 days ago):
Can someone explain why British tax payers money is now being invested in boxing in this part of the UK? I wouldn't like to think it's because of the 'success' the irish boxers have had. Let the free state invest their money (if they had any) on the back of irish results.
dave in northern ireland united kingdom wrote (898 days ago):
3 million investment for the republic of ireland boxing team ,i am sure the irish goverment will be pleased another bailout from the uk.
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