McCarthy questions redirection of lottery funding to the Olympic Games

Alliance Culture, Arts and Leisure spokesperson Kieran McCarthy has questioned the decision to divert 42 million pounds of lottery funding from good causes in Northern Ireland to pay for the 2012 Olympics Games in London. The money which was to paid out over the next four years has been seen as a blow to local sports as well as other voluntary organisations.

The Strangford MLA said: “This is not good news at all and I would seriously have to question the basis on which this decision was made.

“Over four million of this money should have gone to local sports projects but now they will have to find other means of financial backing if they intend to continue the good work that they do. If sports projects can no longer continue due to this decision that what hope have we got of producing sports stars of the future.

“It is going to be grassroots projects that lose out, projects that improve the lives of far more people than the Olympic Games could.

“Less people are going to be able to benefit from taking part in sporting initiatives and this can only be detrimental to our nation’s health. So on the one hand the Government is telling us to take up more sporting activity for exercise but on the other hand they are reducing the number of opportunities for people to do so.

“A lot of people are going to suffer from the reduction in funding for voluntary organisations that do such good work in our neighbourhoods. There can come no good out of this decision and while I have welcomed the Olympic Games to London, I would however have to ask whether this was part of their plan all along.”


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