07/09/2005

Local sport gets £13.8m boost

Sport in Northern Ireland got a boost today following the launch of a £13.8 million Sports Institute centre.

Based at the University of Ulster’s Jordanstown Campus, the Sports Institute operates as a two member company, which includes the Sports Council for Northern Ireland and University of Ulster.

The purpose is to create an environment which nurtures elite athletes and coaches and provides them with top class facilities, services and expertise.

Speaking after he had cut the first sod for the new multi-million pound High Performance Centre, Sports Minister David Hanson said: “This is an exciting day for sport in Northern Ireland. It is about providing athletes with the highest levels of support and services to help them reach their maximum potential and compete with the best in the world.

“The investment in this facility fits in with the Government’s priorities for sport and will aim to promote access and develop participation in sport among all our athletes and the wider community.”

To house the Sports Institute for Northern Ireland (SINI) a new high performance centre at the University of Ulster will offer, among other things, state of the art facilities such as an indoor hall with an artificial turf playing surface, a strength and conditioning area, a sports science laboratory, medical facilities and an indoor and outdoor running track.

Athletes will come from the core sports – athletics, gaelic football, hockey and rugby as well as individual sports such as squash, triathlon, judo, rowing, sailing, badminton and weight lifting.

In addition to a performance management role, SINI supports athletes with the provision of services including sports medicine and physiotherapy, sports science, coaching, strength and conditioning and performance lifestyle to assist them to improve performance.

(MB/SP)

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