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Last Updated: Tuesday, 17 May, 2005, 08:55 GMT 09:55 UK
Storey picks up world sport award
Gerry Storey
Storey received his award from Marvin Hagler and Barry McGuigan
Belfast boxing coach Gerry Storey has been honoured at the world's most prestigious annual sports awards.

The Holy Family trainer won the Sport for Good award at the Laureus World Sports Awards in Estoril.

Storey joined stars such as Kelly Holmes, Roger Federer, Ellen MacArthur, Maria Sharapova and the Greek football team in picking up awards for 2004.

"It's a great honour for Ireland and it means so much that people recognise what we do," said Storey.

The Belfastman picked up his award for his lifetime's work in running the Holy Family Gym throughout the Northern Ireland troubles.

He continues to train young boxers from both communities in Northern Ireland.

The gym, featured in the Daniel Day-Lewis film The Boxer, is in a catholic area, but several of Storey's proteges have been from the protestant community.

It's a place that has saved lives, taking boys off the killing streets
Gerry Storey

Four-times Irish Olympic coach Storey's standing in the community is high.

Even amid the worst sectarian violence, Storey and his boxers have had un official diplomatic immunity.

"They'd never touch me or any member of my gym," he says.

"It's a place that has saved lives, taking boys off the killing streets and offering them the controlled aggression of the ring - an alternative to the cycle of murderous sectarian violence."

One of Storey's more remarkable achievements has been to train paramilitaries from both sides of the community in the Maze Prison.

The awards are decided by the Laureus World Sports Academy, a jury of 40 of the greatest sportsmen and sportswomen of all time.

He received the award from Marvin Hagler and Barry McGuigan.




WATCH AND LISTEN
Interview: Gerry Storey



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More glory for Athens star Holmes
16 May 05 |  Sport Homepage


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