Boxing strategy could prove a knock-out

editorial image

Sinn Féin Councillor Sandra Duffy has suggested Derry City & Strabane District Council look to introduce a boxing strategy for the area.

The Ballyarnett District Electoral Area (DEA) representative, who is a member of St. Joseph’s Amateur Boxing Club, said Belfast City Council’s implementation of a ten-year boxing strategy in 2013, could provide a model for Derry and Strabane.

She said she had decided to raise the suggestion following conversations with local boxers and coaches.

She said: “I have been talking with many in the boxing fraternity in the city for some time now and they are very eager to see the Council make plans to introduce a boxing strategy.

“We just have to see how boxing is Ireland’s most successful Olympic sport with many talented boxers coming from the Derry area. As well as the North West having a rich history in the sport dating back many years.

“Belfast City Council introduced a boxing strategy several years ago and as a result the sport there is going from strength to strength.

“As a member of St Joseph’s Amateur Boxing Club based in Galliagh I have seen the positive impact boxing and sport can have on the young people coming through the club.”

Colr. Duffy said the benefits of membership of boxing clubs extended far beyond those accruing from participation in elite level competitions.

“They don’t have to go on to box for Irish titles or Olympic medals, sometimes it is the personal impacts such as, having a positive impact on someone’s mental health or getting them off the streets with a bit of direction from a good coach,” said the Sinn Féin councillor.

“A boxing club is often at the heart of our communities and we should ensure that they are given the recognition that they deserve and that could be done through a well-planned out strategy.”