Sports Minister Paul Givan has revealed how the memory of tragic young motorcycling star Malachi Mitchell Thomas helped lead to £500,000 of government money being invested in the sport in a bid to save lives in the future.
opular Lancashire rider Malachi, aged just 20, died in May after crashing his bike during the Supertwins race in Portrush at the North West 200.
Following the fatal accident, which had a crushing impact on the biking fraternity, Mr Givan, weeks into his Ministerial post, decided to make improving motorcycling safety one of his top priorities.
"When the tragic loss of Malachy's life occurred there was a recognition of could we be doing more around safety," stated Givan.
"I felt we needed to tackle those issues and that £500,000 is the biggest single investment that has gone into the sport. We are never going to be able to take away the risks entirely and you won't be able to remove the fact that someone like young Malachi may lose their life again, but the money invested will minimise the risk."
In a separate initiative, hundreds of life-saving defibulators have been provided at sports grounds to aid heart attack victims on and off the field.