Belfast Telegraph

Ulster to host 2012 boxing training

An Olympic team intends to use Northern Ireland as its training base for the 2012 Games.

The Australian Olympic boxing team became the first to sign a letter of intent to set up its London 2012 training camp in Northern Ireland.

Four teams - the Hungarian and British water polo teams, the US synchronised swimming team and the UK Paralympic swimmers - have committed to training in the Irish Republic.

Northern Ireland Sports Minister Caral Ni Chuilin recently responded to criticism of what had been done to secure a legacy for Northern Ireland from the Olympics.

Sport Northern Ireland chairman Dominic Walsh said: "To be able to host the Australian Olympic boxing team for their preparations for the London 2012 Games is fantastic news, for the sport of boxing, to inspire our young athletes, and for Northern Ireland as a whole.

"As with all pre-Games training camps, this announcement is subject to detailed terms being agreed, however our progress in this area is encouraging."

Ms NiChuilin said Northern Ireland had also hosted several positive visits from a range of Olympic and Paralympic committees including the Chinese gymnastics team and the Indonesian badminton squad.

"Today we announce that Australian boxers intend to train here next summer, in preparation for the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games," he said.

"I congratulate Pat McCrory and Mickey Hawkins, highly regarded local boxing coaches, on their support and instrumental involvement in this."

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