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Last Updated: Tuesday, 27 November 2007, 16:32 GMT
Funding worries for boxer Barnes
Patrick Barnes
Barnes reached the last eight at the World Championships
Belfast amateur boxer Paddy Barnes is concerned that a lack of funding will affect his chances of making an impact in next year's Olympics.

Barnes is the only Irish boxer guaranteed a place at the Olympics after he reached the last eight at the recent World Championships.

However, Barnes says that he needs proper financial support to ensure that he does himself justice in Beijing.

"The funding would make a great difference to my performance," he said.

BBC Sport's Peter Scrivener

"It's very difficult. I have to take time off college and I can't work because I'm training full time. It's too hard.

"For the past two years I had to fund myself for three Commonwealth tournaments.

"I was away for months at training camps and fighting and had to fund them all myself. I received no money whatsoever."

The light-flyweight's father Patrick Senior says the money issue has put "a lot of pressure" on the Olympic Games contender.

"It means he doesn't have much of a life outside boxing," said Mr Barnes.

He hasn't received a penny and not even a thank you

Patrick Barnes Senior

"He has no money to go out because he has to give all his money on going to tournaments and for his training and things like diet, clothing....his everything."

Patrick Senior added that only funds from the family and friends have enabled the Holy Family club boxer to continue his highly-promising sporting career.

"Patrick has been to three Commonwealth tournaments, funded them all himself, come back with a gold medal and just missed out on a bronze in the Commonwealth Games. He hasn't received a penny and not even a thank you."

Ulster Amateur Boxing Council treasurer Jack Monaghan insists that he's hopeful the necessary funding will eventually materialise for the Belfast youngster.

"Paddy has done a wonderful job. It's a tremendous achievement and it has caused a great deal of delight to me personally as a member of the Ulster Council.

"Paddy will be going to Beijing and he will be also fully supported by the Irish Sports Council in Dublin.

"If that doesn't materialise, we'll have a fresh look at this situation.

"He'll get all the help that we can give him here. There are problems and we'll have to get around them one way or the other."

The Ulster Council treasurer's words are encouraging but suggestions that the money is on the way isn't going to pay the Belfast man's training costs at this stage with the Olympics less than 10 months away.


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