Protestant boxer lands £8,500 payout over Northern Ireland team 'sectarian' discrimination claim
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Protestant boxer lands £8,500 payout over Northern Ireland team 'sectarian' discrimination claim

A BELFAST boxer has been handed a £8,500 settlement after challenging the Ulster Boxing Council's (UBC) decision not to select him to compete for Northern Ireland in 2015.

Three years ago, Lewis Crocker was a rising star on the amateur boxing scene with seven Irish titles to his name.

A well-known protestant in the boxing community, Crocker fought with the Holy Trinity Boxing Club in Belfast's Turf Lodge, a predominantly Catholic area in north Belfast.

Crocker had already competed at world and European championships and looked on course to represent Northern Ireland at the Commonwealth Youth Games in Samoa in 2015 after finishing top in tests carried out at a high-performance training camp at the Sports Institute for Northern Ireland.

But despite being recommended for selection by the head coach at the Sports Institute, Crocker failed to make the cut.

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Now a professional fighter, the 21-year-old took up a case against the Ulster Boxing Council under fair employment laws.

 

 

He believes everyone else recommended by the head coach was selected for the team and that all of those chosen were Catholic.

Crocker also revealed to BBC Ulster that he was never given an official reason for his omission from the team.

The Equality Commission for Northern Ireland supported his case, and the UBC settled for £8,500.

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A statement from the secretary of the UBC said: "We are very happy that this has been brought to a conclusion for Lewis and his family. We hope that this gives him closure.

"Lewis has been a tremendous loss to Ulster amateur boxing by turning professional."

"Myself and our president Kevin Duffy were elected in October 2017 and we want to help modernise policy, procedures and practices to make sure this doesn't happen again.''