Sandy Row to be Denied Fair Share of £3 million Boxing Fund
Statement by TUV leader Jim Allister MLA:
“The abuse suffered by Sandy Row Amateur Boxing Club at events in Nationalist areas of Northern Ireland rightly shocked the Province when the extent of the problem was revealed in a report compiled by the Club.
“One of the major problems which Sandy Row has faced has been the attitude of the Dublin based Irish Amateur Boxing Association who have repeatedly turned a blind eye to the physical and verbal abuse which young boxers from the club were subjected to.
“I have been working with the Club for some months and it is obvious that the IABA has no interest whatsoever in addressing the problems faced by Sandy Row. After the Club were forced to go public with its report the IABA claimed that they had launched an investigation into what Sandy Row was saying. Two months later I still have to receive a substantive response from the IABA to a letter in which I raised 13 specific points. The IABA have, however, attempted to fob me off with a dismissive two sentence reply which addressed none of the points I raised.
“It is no surprise to me that given their treatment at the hands of the Irish Amateur Boxing Association Sandy Row have no interest in re-joining the IABA.
“I am, however, shocked to learn that because of their refusal to affiliate with the IABA Sandy Row will be denied its share of the £3 million fund announced by the Culture Minister.
“This is totally unacceptable and the Culture Minister needs to reverse this sectarian policy immediately.
“Does DCAL take the same approach when it comes to Derry City – a club which is not affiliated to the IFA?”
Mr Allister’s question and the Minister’s response are as follows:
To ask the Minister of Culture, Arts and Leisure whether she can offer an assurance that Sandy Row Amateur Boxing Club will be eligible for funding, under her recent announcement of £3 million aid.
Sport NI is responsible for the distribution of funding including determining the eligibility criteria for the £3.27m Lottery funding being provided to boxing as part of the emerging boxing strategy. It would not, therefore, be appropriate for me to offer assurances that any boxing club, including Sandy Row Amateur Boxing Club (SRABC), will be eligible for funding under this particular Sport NI investment programme. I am aware, however, that Sport NI is currently undertaking an exercise to determine the capital and equipment needs of boxing clubs in the north of Ireland, including SRABC. As part of this process, Sport NI has advised clubs, including SRABC, that they can have their needs assessed.
However, in line with all Sport NI club based programmes, direct funding is only currently being considered for boxing clubs that are governing body affiliated.