Sports Minister Caral Ni Chuilin has underlined her commitment to improving Northern Ireland’s sports coaching at a national summit in Belfast.
The annual conference, held at the Harbour Commissioners headquarters on Monday, was attended by key policy makers from across the UK.
Paying tribute to the influential role played by those in the coaching sector, the minister stated: “It is the sports coach who makes the participation experience fun, fulfilling and worthwhile. It is the sports coach who helps and encourages us to take part in and improve at our chosen sport.
“It is the sports coach who inspires our best athletes to success.”
She continued: “If we want the best from our coaches then we must recognise their central role and ensure they have the back-up, support and training they need.
“That is why, in my own sports strategy, Sport Matters, I have identified improving and developing coaching as a major issue to be tackled over the next 10 years.”
This year’s summit, hosted by Belfast for the first ever time, was aimed at boosting the development and retention of coaches.
Speaking at the conference, Dominic Walsh, Chair of Sport Northern Ireland added: “From community-based, grassroots sport through to high performance, Sport Northern Ireland is committed to the development of excellent coaching practice at all levels.”