Storey wins Laureus Sport for Good award

Congratulations to Belfast boxing coach Gerry Storey, who has been awarded the Laureus Sport for Good award in Estoril in recognition of his Holy Family gymn in Belfast, which trains young boxers “regardless of their background, and encouraging tolerance and reconciliation between the Catholic and Protestant communities”. The gym was featured in the Daniel Day-Lewis film The Boxer.”This is a gym dedicated to boxing, sportsmanship and the creation of great fighters, including world middleweight champion Steve Collins and Olympic gold medallist Michael Carruth,” said the Laureus committee, explaining the decision.

“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 unofficial 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.”

The other winners were as follows:
Sportsman of the Year: Roger Federer
Sportswoman of the Year: Kelly Holmes
World Team of the Year: Euro 2004 winners Greece
Comeback of the Year: Alessandro Zanardi
Newcomer of the Year: Liu Xiang
Sportsperson of the Year with a Disability: Chantal Petitclerc
Alternative sportsperson of the year: Ellen MacArthur