Official Launch of Sports Association Newry & Down (SAND) in Canal Court Hotel, Newry
On Wednesday 20 January 2016, the Canal Court Hotel, Newry, played host to over 200 sporting guests at the launch of the new Sports Association Newry & Down (SAND). Newry, Mourne and Down District Council Chairperson, Councillor Mickey Ruane, had the honour of officially launching the Sports Association.
The approval for the establishment of SAND was agreed at Council’s inaugural meeting of their Active and Healthy Communities Committee in April 2015.
The main purpose of SAND is to promote the development of sports by providing community sports clubs with funding opportunities. Community sports clubs will be encouraged to seek independent accreditation for their club while aiming to provide or secure the provision of educational, training and recreational programmes. SAND will also work towards advancing the physical education of our citizens throughout the district, especially amongst young people while also raising awareness among the general public about the opportunities for improving their quality of life and reducing health inequalities through a range of programmes and services.
Speaking at the event, Newry, Mourne and Down District Council Chairperson, Councillor Ruane said, “This is a new and challenging era for sports clubs. It is about empowerment, capacity building, and working in collaboration with a diverse range of agencies to achieve outcomes which are beneficial to the sporting community. Sports Clubs will have the opportunity for their voice to be heard through SAND on the stakeholder engagement forum and be part of the Community Plans for Sport.”
In his concluding remarks, Councillor Ruane stated, “The new Sports Association has the opportunity to make a substantial impact on at least two of the eight priorities in the Council’s Corporate Plan, by improving health and well-being outcomes and advancing the capacity of our communities by promoting leadership and responsible community ownership of programmes.”
Membership of the SAND will be open to any community based amateur sports club who is registered with their governing body. In addition to club membership, the group will consist of the Council Chairperson and an elected member from each of the District Electoral Areas.