Culture legacy boost expected for boxing clubs in New Year

Culture Minister, Car�l N� Chuil�n, centre, visiting St Joseph's Amateur Boxing Club. (2412MM25)
Culture Minister, Car�l N� Chuil�n, centre, visiting St Joseph's Amateur Boxing Club. (2412MM25)

Amateur boxing clubs in Derry are set to benefit from a City of Culture legacy funding from the Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure.

It is expected that a funding announcement of £250,000 will be made early in the New Year to allow local amateur boxing clubs to purchase new equipment.

This will be followed by a further injection of £750.000 later in the year, bringing the total package for local clubs up to £1 million.

The initial award of £250,000 is set to be made by Culture minister Carál Ní Chuilín in the coming weeks.

The news has been welcomed in local boxing circles.

The secretary of St Joesph’s Amateur Boxing Club (ABC), Sandra Duffy, said additional funding would help the development of boxing in Derry.

“This is a major investment for local clubs, many of which are surviving on local fundraising initiatives, which generally just cover the running expenses of clubs, including trips to various tournaments,” she said.

Ms Duffy said many local clubs took part in City of Culture activities in 2013.

“We never have additional money to allow us to upgrade equipment or buy essential pieces of kit.

“If we want to move boxing forward in the city it is important that we have clubs that have all the equipment necessary to allow our boxers to train and perform at their optimum levels. We are very excited at this news,” the club secretary added.

Minister Ní Chuilín met young boxers from St Joseph’s ABC when she visited the city earlier this year and talked with representatives from the club, including Ms Duffy, about how the City of Culture celebrations and its legacy could help develop the sport in Derry.