There was some good news for Claremorris Boxing Club last week.
The club, which was dealt a harsh blow when its boxing ring was stolen last year, has learned it is to receive €25,000 to upgrade its facilities at Lakeside Retail Park.
The funding was announced by Minister of State for Tourism and Sport Michael Ring.
The boxing club fell victim to a bizarre theft last November when its boxing ring was stolen just as the club was preparing for its annual tournament.
The ring was not recovered, leaving the club out of pocket to the tune of some €3,000.
The club has been using a practice ring ever since.
Club secretary Joe Charles said the funding of €25,000 was allocated specifically to upgrade facilities at the clubhouse and so would not be available to help fund the purchase of a new boxing ring.
However, the club is hopeful it will have raised enough money itself to buy a new boxing ring for the 2014 tournament on November 21 in the Dalton Inn.
The €25,000 funding is be drawn from an overall allocation by Minister of State Ring to the Irish Amateur Boxing Association.
Mr Charles said this is the first funding for the club from the IABA since Michael Carruth won a boxing gold medal in the 1992 Olympics.
“It is great news...a major funding boost,” he said. “The funding will be used to upgrade club facilities such as the toilets, dressing rooms, and showers.”
Claremorris Boxing Club, which was founded in 1961, has more than 100 members, including a growing number of girls, who are taking to boxing in their droves following the inspirational success of Katie Taylor at the London 2012 Olympics.
Minister of State Ring said he was delighted to see the funding allocated to the Claremorris club.
“Claremorris has a great tradition of boxing over the years. They have a wonderful record and I believe this funding will greatly enhance their facilities,” he said.
He also paid tribute to the many volunteers “who give so freely of their valuable time” to the club.
“Without people like them, clubs of this nature would not exist,” he concluded.