Student Sport Ireland (SSI), today launched its new Strategic Plan (2017-2020) at the Sport Ireland National Sports Campus in Abbotstown.

The document, entitled Working For Third Level Sport and Physical Activity sets out the principles and strategic objectives that will guide the organisation’s work until 2020. The new plan builds on the significant development undertaken by the organisation in recent years and the recommendations of the SSI 2016 commissioned Student Activity and Sports Study Ireland (SASSI), the largest all Ireland research project on third level student participation and physical activity. The document, in setting out its ambition to increase student participation, is also influenced by the Healthy Ireland Get Ireland Active and Sport Northern Ireland’s Sport Matters publications.

In his address at the launch Sport Northern Ireland Policy, Planning and Research Manager Dr Paul Donnelly stated:

“I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate Student Sport Ireland on the production of what I believe is an exciting Strategic Plan which reflects the views and aspirations of its many key partners and stakeholders, including Sport Northern Ireland. I particularly endorse the increased prominence that has been given to women and girls within the Strategy and appreciate the commitment of Student Sport Ireland to increase opportunities for women and girls in third level education to Enjoy, Engage and Excel in sport and physical activity. I look forward to working with and supporting Student Sport Ireland in the future to achieve the vision and goals of new Strategy”.

Speaking at the launch SSI Hon. Chairperson Ms Carmel Lynch stated:

“In developing the new strategic plan, SSI recognises the changing landscape of student sport to include alongside the highly successful intercollegiate and international dimension initiatives to increase physical activity participation amongst the student population as a priority for our organisation.  Aligning our strategy with Healthy Ireland – Get Ireland Active 2016 and Sport Northern Ireland’s Sport Matters strategic objectives and working in partnership with key stakeholders will be the main principle which will guide SSI during the lifetime of the strategic plan. With the support of the Governing Bodies SSI is committed to working with individual colleges in supporting an all- encompassing holistic approach to increased physical activity initiatives across the third level sector”.

In welcoming the publication of the new strategic plan Sport Ireland Chief Executive John Treacy said

“I would like to congratulate Student Sport Ireland on the production of this excellent strategy. We have already seen significant progression over the course of the previous strategic period and I have no doubt that Student Sport Ireland, with the hard work and support of its members, will go from strength to strength over the life cycle of this strategy. I look forward to continued partnership between Sport Ireland and Student Sport Ireland. I wish everybody involved in the Student Sport Ireland all the very best for the coming years.”

The new strategic plan was drafted by a working group lead by University College Dublin Director of Health Promotion Mr Brian Mullins. Speaking at the launch Mr Mullins stated

“I would like to thank my colleagues on the working group for their diligent work in the production of this important document for SSI. In setting about its work the group consulted extensively both internally with its own members and also colleagues across the sport and physical activity sector within Sport Ireland, Sport Northern Ireland and the national governing bodies of sport. This initial piece of work subsequently guided the group in its deliberations and framed the drafting of the new plan. SSI has a proven track record in the delivery of programmes that provides students the opportunity to compete at intercollegiate and international competitions. The central focus of the new strategic plan is that SSI is now committed to aligning its aims and objectives with those of its partner organisations “To get more people more active more often”

Pictured at the launch are Brian Mullins (UCD), Dr Paul Donnelly (Sport Northern Ireland), Carmel Lynch (SSI Hon. Chairperson) and Paul McDermott (Sport Ireland) at the launch of the SSI strategic plan.