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23 March 2010

CAL 12/09/10


Members of the Northern Ireland Assembly Committee for Culture, Arts and Leisure will participate today in a video link conference with Finland. They will speak to a senior government official from Finland’s Sports Division to gather evidence for the Committee’s inquiry into participation in sport and physical activity in Northern Ireland.

Chair of the Committee, Barry McElduff, MLA said: “The Committee is looking forward to engaging with representatives from the Finnish government. Finland is a country renowned for its international best practice in terms of driving up levels of participation in sport and physical activity.

The Committee is pleased to be making use of the video link facilities as it believes that this is a cost-effective and innovative approach in terms of learning about best practice in other countries and regions.”

The Committee launched the inquiry because it is concerned at the low levels of participation in sport and physical activity among the adult population. The inquiry will produce a report identifying the barriers which prevent more people from getting involved in physical activity and consider solutions to those issues.

Notes to Editors:

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 steps are taken as necessary to meet that target.

Within that framework the Committee will specifically:

1. Identify the main groups within the adult population which have lower levels of participation than the average rate for adults;

2. Identify and analyse the issues particular to each of these main groups which act as a barrier to participation;

3. 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;

4. Report to the Assembly making recommendations to the Department and/or others.

Committee Membership:

The Chairperson of the Committee is Mr Barry McElduff MLA.
The Deputy Chairperson is Mr David McNarry MLA

The Committee has a further nine members:

Mr Dominic Bradley MLA
Mr PJ Bradley MLA
The Lord Browne MLA
Mr Trevor Clarke MLA
Mr Billy Leonard MLA
Mr Kieran McCarthy MLA
Ms Michelle McIlveen MLA
Mr Raymond McCartney MLA
Mr Ken Robinson MLA

The Clerk to the Committee is Kathryn Bell

Committee Office
Northern Ireland Assembly
Room 424 Parliament Buildings
Stormont Estate, Ballymiscaw
Belfast BT4 3XX
Telephone: 028 90 521841
Fax: 028 90 521355
E Mail:

Communications Office contact:

Caroline Moore
Deputy Communications Officer
Northern Ireland Assembly
Phone: 02890 521806
Mobile : 07900053926