Olympian Coe Backs Ballymoney Sports Festival

Sporting legend Sebastian Coe KBE has given his support to the University of Ulster’s plan to host the successful ‘Sport Comes 2 Town’ festival in Ballymoney.

The Sport Comes 2 Town’ festival, which is funded under the European Union’s PEACE III programme managed for the Special EU Programmes Body by the North East PEACE III Partnership, is a community engagement project which promotes sport in the local community and encourages families to get active.

The Olympic gold medallist has praised the unique Ulster Sports Academy project, which takes place on Saturday 20 November. The Joey Dunlop Leisure Centre is the venue for the sporting extravaganza which will see about 20 local sports clubs join force with the University to encourage sports participation within the community.

‘Sport Comes 2 Town’ has also been granted the Inspire Mark, the badge of the London 2012 Inspire Programme, which recognises innovative and exceptional projects that are directly inspired by the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Lord Coe, who holds an honorary doctorate from the University of Ulster, and is Chair, London Organising Committee of the Olympic Games and Paralympic Games said: “The Inspire programme is ensuring the legacy of the 2012 Games starts now as projects like the University of Ulster Sport Comes 2 Town are enabling people in Ballymoney and the surrounding area to make positive life changes.”

The festival of sport in Ballymoney follows on from the success of the SC2T events in Portadown and Jordanstown earlier this year. The cross-community event will feature sports ranging from table tennis, badminton and climbing, to cheerleading, ballet, bowls and wrestling.

Dr Nigel Dobson, Co-Director of the Ulster Sports Academy, said: “SC2T is all about getting the community engaged in sport. If the University of Ulster can bring the message of the benefits of sport to the community by working with local sports clubs throughout the country then this is how we hope to inspire people to be involved in sport. Sport is not just for the elite it is for families – for everyone from small kids to parents and grandparents, so I would encourage everyone to get active and support sport in your area.”

Ahead of the main event, the Ulster Sports Academy is also hosting a special Coach Education Day on 13 November with the focus on management and organisation of sports clubs and good practice in children’s sport.

The University of Ulster’s Performance Services Unit will also be holding a special sport performance workshop evening on 18 November, with local clubs learning the best ways to put the theory of strength and conditioning into practice and maximise the potential of young athletes. Both of these events will also take place at the Joey Dunlop centre.

SC2T in Ballymoney is being held by the University of Ulster in partnership with Unify Solutions.