Sports Minister's tribute to NI Olympians

Published Sunday, 12 August 2012
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Sports Minister Carál Ní Chuilín has paid tribute to the contribution of Northern Ireland's athletes who competed in the London 2012 Olympic Games.

Sports Minister's tribute to NI Olympians
Minister Ní Chuilín congratulates Paddy Barnes on his bronze. (© Pacemaker)

She described the games as "a tremendous success."

"We have had the largest team of local athletes ever competing and while we are proud that five medals have been won, the spirit of the games is as much about competing as it is about winning."

The Sinn Féin minister said that many had been "inspired by the courage and dedication shown by all of our athletes."

"Over the last 16 days, we have watched many hard-fought and exciting battles, lots of trials and tribulations and pain and endurance to the finishing line."

Ms Ní Chuilín said that she "very much appreciated the diversity of the games."

She added: "We had our first competitors in table tennis, canoeing, our first female representative in judo and our first male triathlete.

"With more women competing than before and a larger range of sports we have tangible proof that progress is being made on the equality agenda in sport."

The minister said that Northern Ireland had used the London 2012 Games "to provide cultural and business opportunities" through the Torch Relay and the involvement of volunteers and local communities.

Ms Ní Chuilín continued saying that young people now must be inspired to engage in sport - and to ensure that the facilities are available for them.

"For this reason over £10m is being invested in the Sport Matters Community Capital Programme over the four year period 2011/2012 to 2012/15.

"This programme is already delivering facilities at community level, in both urban and rural settings and for a wide range of sports, with the aim of encouraging the participation in sport and physical recreation, by people who have not been engaged before."

The minister also paid tribute to the visiting athletes who spent time here at pre-games training camps.

© UTV News
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6 Comments
Ulysses32 in Belfast wrote (858 days ago):
Don't try to dictate to me how my tax pounds should be paid, Linda. You sound like a fascist. For the record, both boxers are from Belfast, they train in Belfast, their clubs are in Belfast and they pay taxes in Belfast. The only thing wrong is that boxing has been ridiculously underfunded by the government while the likes of the Windsor Park, Ravenhill and Casement Park have been raking in the cash. One could say that the likes of Royal Portrush Golfing Club should not be funded by Northern Ireland seeing as the PGA only have one region for Ireland and there is only one sport body, the Golfing Union of Ireland. How about Hockey, racquet sports (including Tennis), swimming, etc. The list is endless, Linda. Not all of the taxpayers money in Northern Ireland should go to Windsor Park and Linfield, despite your prejudices...
Stephen in belfast and proud of it wrote (859 days ago):
WHY in gods name can't the sports minister for northern Ireland not Ask yes ask the Irish gov for funds for boxing clubs in the north seeing they box for Ireland...... joke or what we do have other things to put our money into with the like of what the coleraine lads did in the rowing was outstanding and they did it for team Gb so why do we have to fund Ireland....??????
Michael in Belfast wrote (859 days ago):
To Linda Team Ireland is an al-ireland team. Our boys deserve to be backed by the stormont government as much as anyway. To ignore our Irish identity and desire to our own country is quite insulting. Imagine if people said Wendy Houvenaghal shoudl not have fuinding because people dont thik she shoudl be cycling for team GB. Thsi is ashraed land, time to accept it and promote the positive aspects, such as our Athletes Thsi is gret news for Irish boxing and I will be ncouraging my sons to take up the sport and hopefully represent Ireland one day!
jimmy mac in Canada wrote (859 days ago):
@ Linda in N I.Madame you should be proud of our local young boxing lads.instead of bemoaning... Go on...now, give them three rousing cheers, for their great London Olympic achievements, and all the welcoming pride, they brought home to Belfast.
Linda in NI wrote (859 days ago):
Why are all participants for Southern Ireland not funded by the Southern government. The UK government should only fund NI sports clubs who perform for NI or UK.
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