Thursday, 20 January 2011

Cutting money for Sports Development is short sighted.

I'm no deficit denier. I know that with less money available in the block grant, there are some things we can't afford to spend money on any more. However, the decision to axe a range of projects to build world class facilities across Northern Ireland is incredibly short sighted. This is one area of public spending that consistently, across the world, recoups it's outlay in terms of follow on private spending. The farce that led to the new Olympic Pool at Bangor being delayed ensured that Northern Ireland had little to entice Olympic Teams to the area to train and this decision has now compounded that problem.

The people of Northern Ireland have an excellent attitude to sport and competition. It punches well above it's weight in the world of sport and recently 2 of the most in form golfers in the world have been from here. Unfortunately, that attitude is not backed up by it's government. What we have is something that the people of Northern Ireland can excel at given the right support but instead we are letting ourselves down. Imagine just how successful our Atheletes, Footballers, Golfers and Boxers would be given the kind of investment that American sports people are more used to?

Our top sports people are brilliant ambassadors for Northern Ireland and help to bring interest and subsequent revenue into the country. Why would we not want to develop that as best we can and provide the next generation with the best chance?

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