Sinn Féin Councillor Sandra Duffy has welcomed confirmation from Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure (DCAL) Minister Carál Ní Chuilín that SportNI is developing a new £17.5 million programme to improve infrastructure and boost performance and participation in sports.
Colr. Duffy, who volunteers with her local boxing club St. Joseph’s ABC, said the funding will go towards helping athletes from the North of Ireland to develop their skills.
“We have received correspondence from the Minister that the £17.5 million lottery funded programme will be rolled out over a five-year period with investment for organisations being available from the end of this year.
“The new funding will be used to improve and develop sporting infrastructure and boost sporting performances.”
Colr. Duffy said as many sports organisations from Derry should apply to SportNI for the funding and added that the Lottery’s commitment was a step in the right direction to towards a much more healthier society.
“I particularly welcome the fact it will also be targeted towards increasing participation in sport and leisure among underrepresented groups.
“This will be underpinned by social outcomes such as addressing poverty and social exclusion.
“SportNI intend to facilitate workshops in the autumn.
“These will outline the funding priorities and assist groups in identifying and developing suitable projects.
“I appreciate the vital role that sport plays in creating a healthy society so I welcome this announcement.
“In the meantime, I advise organisations in Derry to register their interest online by logging on to www.sportni.net/funding+registrations.
“SportNI will then automatically contact organisations once more details of the programme becomes available,” said the Sinn Fein councillor.
Last month, Colr. Duffy travelled with many local people to cheer on local fighters Connor Coyle and Sean McGlinchy at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.
Both local fighters enjoyed success and returned home to Derry with their bronze medals in the Middleweight and Light-Heavyweight categories respectively.