Carl Frampton's Midland Boxing Club gets cash injection to attract more women into boxing
The boxing club where world champion Carl Frampton started out is set to benefit from a Stormont cash injection.
Frampton first won the Irish senior flyweight title in 2005 with the Midland Boxing Club in north Belfast before going on to conquer the world as a professional.
Sports Minister Paul Givan has announced a funding package of up to £200,000 to help a number of amateur boxing clubs carry out capital works to improve their premises.
This funding will help four Belfast amateur clubs - Cairn Lodge, City of Belfast, Midland and the Castle club in Carrickfergus - to develop their facilities.
The money aims to increase membership in their clubs, in particular girls and women, who are currently under-represented in the sport, said Mr Givan.
Billy McKee of the Midland Club told the Belfast Telegraph last night he is still awaiting official confirmation on the move.
"When I see it in black and white, or a letter coming from them to say it, I will be pleased to get it," he said.
Mr Givan said: "This funding will bring much-needed improvements to boxing clubs in areas where sport can play a significant role within the local communities.
"Without improvements to these facilities, there could be a negative impact on both health and well-being for the young people who attend the clubs and put their communities at a disadvantage.
"One of my department's priorities is to increase participation in sport and this funding has the potential to do this along with bringing many other benefits to the communities in the areas served by these four boxing clubs. Sport NI has already commenced engagement with the clubs to progress these improvements.
"I intend to secure more funding to improve sporting facilities, including for boxing and this is a first step in that direction," he added.
Mr Givan attended a homecoming event for Frampton in Belfast on Friday night.
Frampton became the first local boxer to win world titles at two weight divisions when he defeated Leo Santa Cruz last month.
The boxer said he wants to fight again in Belfast.