Northern Ireland’s Youth Commonwealth Games Team came together today (Saturday 8th July) for its final teambuilding event, ahead of the start of the 2017 Games in the Bahamas later this month.

The event included a Clean Games Education Workshop, delivered by Sport Northern Ireland, highlighting the rights and responsibilities of athletes, coaches and support staff in relation to anti-doping.

The Northern Ireland Commonwealth Games Council (NICGC) is signed up to the UK Clean Games Policy, facilitated by UK Anti-Doping (UKAD).   As a result of the new Policy, anti-doping education has become a mandatory requirement for all athletes and support personnel on any Olympic, Paralympic or Commonwealth Games team.

Over the past year, Sport Northern Ireland staff have worked closely with the Northern Ireland Commonwealth Games Council as part of Sport NI’s Pure Winner programme to promote clean sport and educate Team NI members on good practice, prohibited substances, supplement risk and testing protocols.

Commenting on the NI Commonwealth Games Council’s commitment to the UK Clean Games Policy, Executive Officer Conal Heatley said:

“Clean Sport has never been so important and the Sport NI Pure Winner Programme has now become an integral part of Team NI’s preparation for a Commonwealth Games.  Our Bahamas 2017 athletes and coaches are fully prepared and committed to a Clean Games and are looking forward to playing our part in promoting clean sport in Northern Ireland.”

Sport Northern Ireland Chair George Lucas added:

“Sport NI is committed to promoting a message of clean sport to local athletes and coaches, and we are delighted to have been working with the Northern Ireland Commonwealth Games Council in the run up to this summer’s Youth Games. The Commonwealth Youth Games provide our new generation of elite athletes with an important early experience of competing at an international multi-sport event, and issues around anti-doping are an essential element of this. Our hope is that the education, support and advice provided through our Pure Winner programme gives Team NI athletes the assurance and confidence that lets them focus on performing to their best in Nassau later this month. On behalf of Sport NI, I wish them every success.”

During the teambuilding event, Sport NI launched its new “Pure Winner Pal”. The ‘Pal’ was designed as a memento for Team NI members, to remind them of their Clean Games education, and their responsibilities for promoting clean sport during and after the Games. Team NI will be leading the way in promoting Clean Sport ahead of UK Anti-Doping National Clean Sport Week 10-16 July 2017.

The 2017 Commonwealth Youth Games will be held from 19 to 23 July 2017.