Belfast Telegraph

Minister welcomes Washington boxers to Belfast

Stormont press release - Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure

On behalf of Sports Minister Carál Ní Chuilín, Minister Michelle O’Neill welcomed a group of amateur boxers from the Washington DC area to Belfast yesterday.

The boxers are here as part of an exchange programme called the Belfast Beltway Boxing Project. Since 2007, the Project has organised annual boxing tournaments involving young people from clubs in Ardoyne, Turf Lodge, Shankill Road and Rathcoole.

In January last year the tournament came to Belfast and took place in the Europa Hotel, this was the first time the tournament took place outside of Washington DC. The group of young boxers have again visited the north of Ireland and will compete in the Belfast Beltway Classic Tournament tomorrow in the Europa Hotel.

Speaking at the reception in honour of the visiting boxers, Minister O’Neill said: “I am delighted that projects such as the Belfast Beltway Boxing Classic provides activities for young people to improve their fitness and well being as well as their personal and social development.

“This is particularly true for young people from areas of high social need. Boxing is an excellent example of such an activity which, in addition to the health benefits it brings, also helps to develop self respect as well as respect for others.

“The Belfast Beltway Boxing Project provides an opportunity for young people, from both sides of the Atlantic, to expand their horizons, learn about another culture, understand that people who are very different from themselves can be facing very similar problems and learn from those experiences.”

Belfast Telegraph Digital

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