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Sport lines out for community conference

1 Feb 2019
More than 120 people from sports clubs across the city came together earlier this week to learn from leading sports experts about successfully developing sports locally.

Keynote speaker Michael Arends from SV Werden Bremner - a German football club with a corporate social responsibility agenda - gave an inspiring account of how his club is leading the way in developing programmes for the benefit of communities.

Councillor Kate Nicholl, Chair of the People and Communities Committee, said: “It is really inspirational to have one of Europe’s leaders in corporate social responsibility come to Belfast to share ideas on how we, as a city, can further develop and support our local sporting talent.

“Through the Belfast Agenda, Council is committed to creating more active, healthier and engaged communities and I believe the Stadium Community Benefits Initiative can learn a great deal from clubs like SV Bremen that have engaged with its neighbouring community and encouraged people to participate in sport.”

She added: “I’m delighted that the Stadium Community Benefits Initiative has already put some of these building blocks in place for the community around the National Football Stadium, and I think everyone who attended the conference will feel inspired and have a renewed enthusiasm for taking this project forward, and reaping the benefits.”

The conference was attended by sporting professionals from across the city and delegates also had a choice of attending three workshops which would benefit individuals and clubs, irrespective of their particular ‘field’:

• Mental Health in Sport led by former Manchester United and NI international, Pat McGibbon. He founded the ‘Train to be Smart’ charity in memory of his brother Phillip, who took his own life and will share his vision around the role of sport in promoting health and wellbeing.

• 20x20 Women in Sport campaign which aims to boost female involvement in sport by 20 per cent by the year 2020 under the pillars of participation, attendance and media coverage.

• Coach development by Alan Nixon, giving delegates advice on the benefit of mentor support to newly qualified coaches, as well supporting clubs to enhance their capability and sustainability.

The Director of Football Development at the Irish FA, Michael Boyd, said: “We are really pleased that so many people and clubs from so many different sports codes came to the National Football Stadium at Windsor Park to take part in this conference.”

Regional Stadia Programme Manager at Department for Communities, James Macauley said: “Following the significant capital investment from the Department for Communities in the National Football Stadium at Windsor Park, we are determined to maintain the ongoing legacy impact via the Stadium Community Benefits Initiative, as it continues to develop the crucial volunteering skills that deliver benefits within the local community.”
To find out more about the Stadium Community Benefits Initiative visit www.belfastcity.gov.uk/scbi 

The sports conference took place at the National Stadium at Windsor Park earlier this week.
Denise Watson MC & Michael Arends, CSR Manager at SV Werder Bremen (Keynote Speaker) at SCBI Sports in the Community Conference on Wednesday 30 January. Denise Watson MC & Michael Arends, CSR Manager at SV Werder Bremen (Keynote Speaker) at SCBI Sports in the Community Conference on Wednesday 30 January. Sport in the Community Conference Team: L-R: Pat McKibbon, Alan Nixon, Denise Watson (MC), Michael Arends, SV Verder Bremen CSR Manager at SV Werder Bremen and Mary O’Connor.