Coleraine at 50
Community Day Out on the Coleraine Campus

Community Day Out on the Coleraine Campus

Children at the big day out

On Saturday 22 September, Ulster University hosted a Community Big Day Out on the Coleraine campus.

As part of the Coleraine at 50 celebrations, the local community was welcomed to the campus for a range of fun activities for all the family, showcasing all the great facilities on offer on the campus including our state-of-the-art sports facilities and the Riverside Theatre.

With live music, food, sports and theatre there was something for everyone, including a roadshow with Cate Conway from the Q Radio Breakfast Show, fun giveaways, free sports activities for all ages, climbing wall, Lynas Food giveaways, free arts and crafts workshops and an arts exhibition in the Riverside Theatre.

Karise Hutchinson, Provost of the Coleraine campus commented:

“As Northern Ireland’s civic university, Ulster University is proud of its role in the local community. This event was hopefully the first of many community days out here in Coleraine."

Karise Hutchinson

“Staff and students know that our campus has so much to offer, so we were delighted to extend the welcome to the local community, so they could also see  the facilities on offer for everyone to use and enjoy. I am also so grateful for the support we have received from a wide range of local partners.”


The main auditorium at the Riverside Theatre hosted some short performances to launch the autumn season, including a performance of ‘Hello Dolly’ by the Portrush Musical Society and the Victoria Lagan Drama & Dance presentation. The rehearsal room was a hive of activity with various Riverside youth theatre groups.

Visitors on the day were also able to find out information about getting involved with the Riverside through volunteering, community projects as well as learning about upcoming shows and other events linked to the Coleraine at 50 celebrations planned by Mountsandel and Girona community interest groups.

The Riverside also hosted an ‘In Your Space Circus’ with interactive walk around pirates, an exhibition by Patrick Sanders, arts and crafts workshops as well as face painting and live music available throughout the day.

A Pirate Juggling

Lorraine Carmichael from Facepainting By The Sea thoroughly enjoyed her afternoon and talked about it with delight . She said :>

“What an amazing afternoon and the sun shone upon us. I painted over one hundred children at the Ulster University community event. I love doing what I do, every face is a new project and I get great pleasure showing the children their faces in the mirror and watching their delight.”


Sports staff were busy overseeing an array of fun sport activities for visitors of all ages – from a golf simulator to a climbing wall, tennis, bouncy castles, giant jenga and an inflatable velcro darts game.

Paul Gilpin playing tennis

Q Radio’s Cate Conway also presented at the event with two ‘Q Crew’ members giving away Q Radio merchandise. A Q Radio mascot interacted with the crowds creating a fun and friendly day for all. She added:

Nigel Dobson being interviewed for radio

“It was such a pleasure to represent Q Radio at the Community Big Day Out. I had only visited the campus briefly before and had no idea how welcoming it was to the local community! The facilities are truly amazing. The day itself was so much fun – with special events as well as the chance to experience everything the campus has to offer the public. I was also impressed to see how many members of staff came along and brought their families too. It was a really lovely, friendly event .”

Dr Ruth Plets, lecturer in marine science at the campus, praised the success of the event for the University and its 50th Anniversary celebrations. She said:

“It was great to see so many families on the Coleraine campus on a Saturday afternoon. What a great initiative! There truly was something for all ages. My 2-year old loved the ambulance… which I presume wasn’t actually part of the entertainment !”

To enjoy more photos from the Community Big Day Out, check out the gallery below.

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