New boxing club for Katie's home town part of €26m grants
OLYMPIAN Katie Taylor's home town of Bray is to get a new boxing club.
A new facility will be built at Ballywaltrim after the Department of Tourism and Sport announced €190,000 in funding to build a club as part of €26m earmarked for sports clubs across the State.
The move will result in a state-of-the-art building including a boxing ring, training facilities and toilets and showers, and means athletes will have access seven days a week.
Gold medallist Taylor trained in a gym near Bray harbour, called Bray Boxing Club, which was allocated €25,000 earlier this year after it emerged she was forced to use toilets in a local pub because no facilities were in place.
Al Morris, from Ballywaltrim Boxing Club, said the new building would cater for both clubs in the town.
"We use the community hall two days a week, and this will be a dedicated place for kids and older boxers to train," he said.
Work is expected to begin next year.
Peter Taylor, Katie's father and coach, could not be reached for comment.
Yesterday, Sports Minister Michael Ring allocated almost €26m of new funding for capital projects, the first time money has been allocated in four years.
It will allow clubs to build new facilities or purchase equipment, and another €4m will be made available for national and regional projects in the coming weeks.
The allocations vary by county, but those which received lower amounts in previous years benefited most.
Between 1998 and 2010, €140 per person was provided in sports capital funding. The best performing county, Kerry, received €196 while Wicklow got €102.
This time funding has been allocated on a per-capita basis to each county with a weighting for past performance.
The highest grants were paid to Wicklow, Carlow and Meath at €6.80 per person. The lowest paid was to Kerry, at €5.10 per person. Mayo, Mr Ring's constituency, ranks 11th on the list.
A total of 2,170 applications were received, seeking €229m.
Some 615 projects will benefit with funding available for new sports pitches, tracks and courts, floodlighting, toilets and showers and security fencing.
"These allocations will benefit people in every county by giving them more opportunities to get involved in sport, whatever their ability," Mr Ring said.
"I hope there'll be employment generated as there's a lot of projects ready to go."
New criteria were introduced for this year's programme with a particular emphasis on clubs in disadvantaged areas.