Six months ago in February 2015 Kate Hoey, Nigel Dodds and Jim Allister led a delegation of boxing representatives to meet Sport NI to press for action on recognition of a Northern Ireland Boxing Federation so that in international events local boxers would have the facility to compete for Northern Ireland and/or the UK, as an alternative to being forced to fight for ‘Ireland’.
On Monday 17th August at 10.30am the trio are returning to meet Sport NI, along with representatives of the NI Boxing Federation, for an update on progress.
Joint statement by Kate Hoey MP, Nigel Dodds MP and Jim Allister MLA:-
“Some two and a half years ago the Assembly voted to support the establishment of a Northern Ireland Amateur Boxing Association. The move followed concerns about sectarianism within the sport as presently constituted, concerns which were highlighted by a report produced by the club in Sandy Row and which were subsequently supported by an independent report commissioned by the Culture Minister.
“Importantly, quite apart from these issues the current governing arrangements for boxing mean it is impossible for people from Northern Ireland to represent the United Kingdom at the Olympics.
“Plans for the formation of a Northern Ireland Amateur Boxing Association are now at an advanced stage. Sadly those involved have received little support from the Sinn Fein controlled Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure. Clubs which have left the all-Ireland governing body have been denied access to funding on the spurious grounds that they must be affiliated to an internationally recognised association with no consideration given to the fact that they are in the process of establishing just such an association.
“Having perviously met with Sport NI to discuss these issues we will again meet them this Monday for a six month follow up to discuss progress on ensuring wider participation in boxing and securing the right of young men and women from Northern Ireland to represent the UK at international level should they so wish.”