Minister of Culture, Arts and Leisure, Caral Ni Chuilin, discussed the funding opportunities available to boxing clubs during today’s Question Time. Sport NI recently opened the third round of the Active Awards for Sport funding programme, a lottery funded small grants programme for grass-roots, community-based sports (such as boxing clubs) with grants ranging from £1,000 to £10,000. In addition the Department is also investing £3.27m in boxing through the boxing investment programme. This investment has gone towards the provision of equipment, improved facilities and the appointment of a club development manager to work closely with clubs to improve infrastructure and build capacity in clubs. The Minister is also pushing for a support worker for clubs that will be able to assist with funding applications and general administration allowing clubs to concentrate on training children and young people.
The Minister also confirmed that the Northern Ireland Commonwealth Games Council intends to send a team of athletes to the Youth Games in Samoa in September 2015. Sport NI is collaborating with the Games Council to prepare the business case for funding. When asked if she would support a move by the Games Council to bring the 2021 Youth Games to Northern Ireland, Ms Ni Chuilin encouraged “The Member will be happy that I will soon meet the Commonwealth Games Council about preparation for the 2021 bid. I anticipate, after that, having some representation from the Member and others about how we take it forward. We are all approaching the event with a "Let's see" and, hopefully, a can-do attitude, depending on budget.”
During Question Time the Minister also answered questions on cultural and creative hubs, Somme centenary commemorations and the cultural awareness programme. During the period for topical questions the Minister continued to answer questions on costs of the Irish language TV campaign, library opening times, Belfast festival and the impact of funding cuts.