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Olympic Boxer Backs Community Sports Festival

24 June 2011

Irish medal winning Olympian Paddy Barnes has backed the University of Ulster’s ‘Sport Comes 2 Town’ project which takes place this weekend in Portadown and Lurgan.

The Ulster Sports Academy initiative, organised in partnership with Craigavon Borough Council, and Unify Global Sport, will be held on Saturday 25 June in Portadown and Lurgan, with people from all over the country invited to the sporting spectacle.

The exciting, and free, family fun day is a celebration of sport aimed at encouraging greater awareness of the benefits of sport in the run-up to the London Olympics in 2012.

Paddy Barnes, who won a bronze medal at the 2008 Olympics in Beijing, said: “I don’t know what I would be doing in my life without boxing. Sport is a great way of developing yourself as a person by meeting new people, staying fir, and getting involved in your community and that’s why event like Sport Comes 2 Town are so important.

Barnes took part at a smaller Sport Comes 2 Town event at the University’s Jordanstown campus in July 2010 and said: “It is great to see families with young children come to this and it is a great project to get kids involved in sport and let them enjoy themselves.”

More than 30 local sports teams and organisations will take part in the cross-community family day, which aims to introduce new sports to people and encourage everyone to get active.  

Mayor of Craigavon, Councillor Alan Carson, said: “This exciting event is the perfect opportunity for people both young and old to try out a wide range of interesting and fun sports available across the Borough. Many local sports clubs will be taking part in the event and showcasing their sports so come along for a great day of family fun and try out something new.”

A multitude of sporting events including cheerleading, basketball, futsal, American football, archery, and rowing will engage all ages from across the Borough and beyond.

Dr Nigel Dobson, Co-Director of the Ulster Sports Academy, said: “The Sport Comes 2 Town initiative is an important part in our Academy’s aim to encourage everyone to take part in physical activity in the run-up to next year’s Olympics.

“We would even encourage families to get active getting to the events by cycling or walking to the Meadows Shopping Centre, High Street Mall Craigavon and the Lurgan Park.”

For further information on the Sport Comes 2 Town initiative visit