Newry.ie

Investing in local boxing clubs was a topic under discussion for Sinn Fein MLA Mickey Brady when he spoke recently to Culture Arts and Leisure Minister Caral Ni Chuilin in the Assembly with the intention of ensuring that boxing clubs in the constituency are not overlooked for investment.

Speaking directly to the minister the MLA asked  for an update on the boxing investment strategy in Newry and Armagh.

“I thank the Minister and ask her to ensure that boxing clubs in my constituency, such as St Brigid's, St John Bosco, Sacred Heart at Cuan Mhuire and clubs such as the Sean Doran Boxing Club in Keady are not forgotten when it comes to investment,” the Newry Armagh Westminster candidate said.

Conor Wallace is just one of Newry's up and coming boxers. Photograph: Columba O'Hare
Conor Wallace is just one of Newry's up and coming boxers. Photograph: Columba O'Hare

“Boxing is a sport that, until relatively recently, was not getting the investment that it so deserves.”

The Minister responded by saying that while funds were not currently available a process for identifying clubs most in need was under way.

“The Member will be aware, because I was in the constituency with him, that there is not enough money at the moment to meet the demand,” she said.

“However, Sport NI did an exercise with the governing bodies and some of the clubs to get a facilities plan to look at the state of boxing clubs. They will prioritise those with the worst facilities and look at when funding can go to them. That process is under way.

“I am not sure whether some of the clubs in the Member's constituency will get funding, but I will happily write to him about that.

“I agree that boxing has delivered an awful lot to our community. It has given us a great spectacle of sport and produces more medals than any other sport the length and breadth of this island, yet its facilities are not fit for purpose.

“It is important that we get investment into the boxing clubs and that it is spread throughout communities as much as possible.

“As I said, I will try to find out about the clubs in his constituency that he mentioned and write to him with any details.”

Speak afterwards Mr. Brady welcomed the Minister’s comments. “Firstly, I’m very happy to see that the Minister recognises the contribution the sport of boxing makes to our communities,” he said.

“Regarding health and fitness it’s obviously excellent but it also makes a huge contribution to the lives of young people in terms of instilling a sense of pride and belonging in their communities as well as a great sense of discipline and respect, for themselves, their opponents and their communities, the positive effects of which cannot be overstated.

“I will continue lobbying to ensure that boxing in Newry and Armagh gets the investment and support it needs and deserves.”

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