MLAs Barry McElduff, Chair of the Committee for Culture, Arts and Leisure and Kieran McCarthy, Committee Member both took part in the recent Sport Relief event in Belfast City Centre, running seven miles between them.
Barry and Kieran followed individual fitness programmes for the event, designed by SINI (Sports Institute of Northern Ireland). The Members’ involvement in Sport Relief highlighted the Committee’s Inquiry into the low levels of participation in sport and physical activity among the adult population.
Under the Programme for Government 2008-2011, the Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure has a target for halting the decline in adult participation in sport and physical recreation by securing 53% participation. The Committee is concerned that all necessary steps are taken to meet that target.
Within that framework the Committee is looking to:
Identify the main groups within the adult population which have lower levels of participation than the average rate for adults;
Identify and analyse the issues particular to each of these main groups which act as a barrier to participation;
Consider solutions particular to each of these main groups which could lead to higher levels of participation, including considering examples of best practice from other countries and regions;
Report to the Assembly, making recommendations to the Department and/or others.
To date, the Committee has received written submissions and oral evidence from stakeholders including British Medical Association (BMANI), Sport NI.
Northern Ireland Local Government Association (NIGLA), NI Rural Women’s Network, Skills Active, Big Lottery Fund, Ulster GAA, Irish Football Association and Ulster Rugby.
The Committee will link up via a video conference session with Mr Hannu Tolonen , Senior Advisor to Ministry of Education, Finland, to discuss how Northern Ireland can learn from Finland’s success in getting its population to take up physical activity and sports.
Kieran McCarthy MLA outlines the latest on the Inquiry, and gives an update on his fitness progress
Barry McElduff MLA on how he is training to run six miles for Sports Relief
Members of the Committee visit SINI to learn the importance of fitness and preparation
Photographs of the Committee on their visit to the Sports Institute