Ulster Unionist Sports spokesperson Michael McGimpsey MLA has said that he is “encouraged” at what he learned during a meeting with the Irish Amateur Boxing Association (IABA).
The IABA were at Stormont this morning to discuss concerns which had been raised by the Sandy Row Boxing Club about sectarianism in local boxing, and the report by the Independent Working Group which found that Sandy Row Boxing club had been discriminated against in terms of sectarianism and racism.
Speaking after the meeting, Mr McGimpsey said;
“At today’s meeting of the Stormont Culture, Arts & Leisure committee, I was encouraged at what I heard from representatives of the Irish Amateur Boxing Association.
“We were assured that the IABA was taking this matter seriously, that they were addressing the issues, consulting widely and were working towards drawing up an action plan and a time frame for its implementation.
“The issues which they pledged to address included the chill factor for young Protestant boxers, the under-representation of the Protestant community within the sport and the ability of young local boxers also to box in a British National team. They promised to address the latter issue with the English Amateur Boxing Association and the world governing body in Switzerland.
“I am pleased that the IABA is taking the issue seriously. It is very much a work in progress but as a result of this meeting, I am encouraged that things are finally moving in the right direction.“