Belfast Telegraph

World Police and Fire Games legacy gives community sport a boost

Stormont press release - Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure

Sports Minister Carál Ní Chuilín has welcomed an initiative which encourages young people to develop their sporting skills and gain recognised sporting and personal development qualifications.

Funded by DCAL and delivered by Springboard Opportunities, Pay It Forward With Sport allows young people, aged 18-24, from Neighbourhood Renewal Areas to develop a career in sport.

It is a legacy project from the World Police and Fire Games.

The Minister said: “The World Police and Fire Games was a global event, with thousands of competitors from 67 countries taking part. It was a landmark for the North of Ireland which showed our growing confidence and ability to host international sporting events.

“The feel-good factor of the 2013 Games will linger for a long time. A fitting legacy is to take this momentum and turn it into something tangible.

“Initiatives such as Springboard’s Pay It Forward With Sport are a key part of this. They harness the positivity of the Games and use it as impetus for a project which will enrich individuals and benefit communities.

“Pay It Forward With Sport does this at a grassroots level by encouraging people of all ages, backgrounds and abilities to get involved in sport. It will allow young people to develop and nurture their skills in a variety of areas across a range of sports to become qualified coaches, and set them on the path towards securing employment within the Sports sector.

“We know that physical activity has a wide range of physical and emotional benefits, particularly in Neighbourhood Renewal Areas. This partnership combines DCAL’s aim of tackling poverty and social exclusion along with the WPFG legacy in a way which will have a positive and lasting impact.”

Angila Chada, Executive Director, Springboard Opportunities Ltd added: “Springboard Opportunities Ltd is delighted to be the lead organisation for the Pay it Forward with Sport programme on behalf of the Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure. 

“The programme, which started in October, will run until March 2014. We are currently working with 21 participants aged 18-24 years, who are committed to developing a career in sport and to help keep the legacy of this year’s World Police and Fire Games alive. 

“Participants will be engaged in a mentoring relationship with representatives from the police and fire services, professional development, personal development, mutual understanding and diversity education. The young people will also participate in a Sports Day with children from local primary schools. With the aim of giving back to their community, participants will achieve a Millennium Volunteer Award for this work. 

“Throughout the process participants will also receive training, interview techniques and supported to employment or further education and training in sport.” 

Notes to editors

1. Springboard Opportunities Ltd was established in 1992. Springboard has been committed to building capacity, building mutual understanding and building peace. Although best known for the delivery of Wider Horizons programmes for young adults, they also continue to provide and develop a diverse range of unique and innovative opportunities to meet evolving needs and dynamics. Earlier this year they celebrated 21 years of helping over 7,000 young people create positive pathways to the future through their many and varied programmes and projects. 

2. Springboard’s annual Peace Day Campaign helps to raise awareness of the UN International Day of Peace on 21 September. The campaign encourages people to commit to non-violence where we live, work, learn and play.

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