18 February 2010
Sport Matters: The Northern Ireland Strategy for Sport and Physical Recreation, 2009-2019, has laid down the following challenge to stakeholders in performance sport: "By 2019, to have secured a world class system for athlete development consisting of services, facilities and competition, following the hosting of the Olympic and Paralympic Games in London 2012".
Sport Northern Ireland is working towards this target and will be focusing its performance sport resources on strengthening the 10 'pillars' or support structures for successful athlete development. This investment will focus on:
- Addressing weaknesses in current performance sport systems;
- Building capacity and new systems within, and for, governing bodies of sport; and
- Enabling Northern Ireland's disabled and able-bodied athletes to achieve the Strategy target of "100 medals at the highest level in their sport including European, Commonwealth Games, World and Olympic levels, by 2018".
The 10 'pillars' on which Sport Northern Ireland will focus its investment on are:
- Modern, ethical fit-for-purpose organisations, in particular governing bodies;
- Increased commitment to participating in sport through strong club and school structures;
- Talent identification and development systems;
- Quality coaching;
- Providing high quality training environments through the establishment of Performer Development Centres, the Sports Institute for Northern Ireland and the Elite Facilities Programme;
- Enabling our athletes to compete in appropriate competitive events;
- Cutting edge scientific and medical support;
- Support for athletes during their competitive lifetime (Athlete Support Programme);
- Targeted integrated financial support for the development of sports and athletes; and
- Partnership working with key organisations in the UK and Ireland to ensure seamless support to our talented able-boded and disabled athletes.