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£600,000 for amateur boxing clubs

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Former boxing champion Barry McGuigan trained at the city's clubs

Former boxing champion Barry McGuigan trained at the city's clubs

PA

Former boxing champion Barry McGuigan trained at the city's clubs

Belfast's amateur boxing clubs are to benefit from a cash boost worth more than half a million pounds, the city council has revealed.

The £600,000 investment to improve facilities, enhance coaching and promote the sport over the next decade was unveiled at the Ulster Hall, where household names like Rinty Monaghan and Barry McGuigan won titles.

"Boxing is a very successful sport in the city, you only have to look at the success of local boxers at last year's Olympics and the number of champions who have trained in Belfast," Deputy Lord Mayor Tierna Cunningham said.

"However, many clubs are working out of inadequate facilities which make them unattractive as sports arenas - we will be hoping to support clubs to change that."

The council plans to recruit two new community-based boxing coaches and a sports development officer who will have special responsibility for boxing.

There will also be a major drive to attract more women into the sport.

"Katy Taylor's success in boxing has done much to raise the profile of women in boxing and that is something we would be hoping to build upon to attract more women into the sport," added Ms Cunningham.

The 10-year strategy will also look at increasing school involvement, including special need schools, and will aim to address issues such as the funding and sponsorship of local and international competitions.

Belfast has a long tradition of boxing, particularly in working class areas where the sport has been hailed a life-saver taking teenagers off the streets and instilling discipline and a sense of self worth.

Paddy Barnes from Holy Family Boxing Club and Michael Conlan from St John Bosco both secured bronze medals at the London Olympics.


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