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Growing community sport and physical activity in Northern Ireland


An event focussing on how community sports providers can meet the challenges and benefit from new opportunities created by changes in people’s lives, the political landscape and new technology 


The conference runs from 9.15 am to 1.15 pm, including a networking lunch

17th July 2019

The Riverside Theatre, Ulster University, Coleraine 





In partnership with

Get up close to the world’s best golfers as they prepare for The British Open. (see below for details)

The challenges facing community sport in Northern Ireland…

Community sports clubs, hubs and other providers are facing strong challenges in order to survive and grow in an increasingly competitive and demanding market

The world of sport is no different from the world of technology or commerce where the rate of change is increasing all the time. Governing bodies and clubs must not only have the appetite for change but must also implement these changes and adaptations or they will struggle to exist. The competition for young people’s time and money has never been greater, and sport is under increasing pressure not only from other past-times such as social media, TV and E-games but more importantly, from inactivity!

The social aspect needs to get greater emphasis and innovative thought needs to be applied to sports in order to develop simpler entry-points, a faster endorphin hit, greater engagement and to drive the mental health, leadership, teamwork and communication qualities that derive from playing any sport. While budgets are frequently threatened, these changes also have to be delivered with a weather-eye on ROI!

Life is changing and providers within community sport have to change with it.

Northern Ireland needs community sports clubs, enterprises and other providers to prosper. We need them to be places where people will want to play and exercise and become involved. They should generally become hubs for their communities, in short, become places ‘where people live their lives’.

The conference will share ideas and experiences, provide an opportunity for sharing experiences and discuss opportunities and challenges. It will questions such as:

  • How do we deliver a great, sustainable community sport without compromising your sporting and community objectives?
  • How do we provide great customer experiences and grow participation whilst at the same time meeting the strategic objectives of external partners and funders, whether they are from within sport or from health, regeneration or community services?
  • How do we engage with the many inactive people who we have not been able to get active through conventional methods and channels? Do we need new partners and providers and what role can the current sports bodies play?
  • How do we engage the local community and promote community leadership and play our part of the fabric of our local communities?
  • How do we develop and deliver an innovative range of sporting opportunities, attracting people of all ages and abilities?
  • How do we bridge the gap between ‘sport for sport’s sake’ and ‘sport for change’ and ensure that there is a common vision across all parts of the sector in Northern Ireland?

Delegates will come from community sports clubs, governing bodies of sport, local authorities, community trusts, informal sports providers, community sports enterprises, health bodies, sports governing bodies, community groups and other community sports providers

This event focuses on these issues, highlight best practice and provide thoughts, tools and to-dos on how you too can become an enterprising, innovative and sustainable community sports provider.

Get up close to the world’s best golfers as they prepare for The British Open.

As the world’s greatest golf players arrive at Royal Portrush, just down the road from the venue, you can be there to follow, interact and watch as they begin their preparations for the Championship.

30 delegates will have the opportunity to acquire one ticket each.

After the conference, at 1.15 pm, 30 delegates will have the opportunity to be bussed (10-minute drive) to the practice range at Royal Portrush Golf Club and have the opportunity of soaking in the atmosphere surrounding the British Golf Open.

Each Practice Day ticket costs £40. Order your tickets when you book your conference place at £95.00 – strictly first-come, first-served.