Monkstown Boxing Club was presented with the prestigious Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service by Her Majesty’s Lord Lieutenant for the County of Antrim, Mr David McCorkell at a presentation ceremony on Friday 16 August.
The Award is the highest form of civic recognition that can be granted to an organisation in recognition of the outstanding work of volunteers. A recent announcement from Buckingham Palace named Monkstown Boxing Club as one of twenty two recipients from Northern Ireland to receive this award.
Amongst the guests were past, present and future boxing stars from the Club including Steven Ward - 2010 Commonwealth Games Silver Medallist & Current European Light Heavyweight Champion; Neil Sinclair - 1994 Commonwealth Games Gold Medallist & Lonsdale Belt holder as British Welterweight Champion; Michaela Walsh – 2014 & 2018 Commonwealth Games Silver Medallist and current European Olympic Games Silver medallist and Aidan Walsh – 2018 Commonwealth Games Silver Medallist and 2015 Commonwealth Youth Games Gold Medallist.
Paul Johnston, Project Manager of Monkstown Boxing Club commented,
“It is a huge honour for the Club to receive this prestigious Award and I am extremely proud of our volunteers for their hard work and dedication over the years. I would like to give a special thank you to Antrim and Newtownabbey Borough Council for their ongoing support and for making today such a tremendous success.”
Mayor of Antrim and Newtownabbey, Alderman John Smyth commented,
“I would like to extend my warmest congratulations to the committee and volunteers of Monkstown Boxing Club. The Club has contributed greatly to the local community and I am delighted that their work has been acknowledged with this prestigious Award. Monkstown Boxing Club is the first boxing Club in Northern Ireland to receive this award – congratulations to all involved.”
The Northern Ireland Representative for the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service (QAVS) Walter Rader OBE commented,
“It is wonderful to see a local community boxing club such as Monkstown getting the Queen’s Award for Voluntary Service. It is due recognition of everything the volunteers do in the wide range of programmes which are offered by the Club. The community benefits greatly from the hard work and dedication from the volunteers at this outstanding Club.”
Monkstown Boxing Club was established in 1983 and was originally based in the local community centre before moving into a state of the art facility in 1996. It has grown substantially in terms of its facilities, membership and the range of services it provides to the local community. The Club has produced several champions throughout the years who have represented Northern Ireland at the Commonwealth Games, as well as Ireland, at European and World levels. Notably, Neil Sinclair, Steven Ward, Michaela and Aidan Walsh.
Outside of the ring, Monkstown Boxing Club operates an award winning and pioneering education support programme called ‘In Your Corner’. This supports young people who are at risk of being excluded from traditional education settings, and provides them with access to an alternative education curriculum. The club also delivers a range of programmes for the young of the area focussing on mental health, drug and alcohol misuse, and fostering positive relationships.