Sport and physical activity chiefs meet for CIMSPA event

A powerhouse of key decision makers from the sport, physical activity and health arenas in Northern Ireland are gathering at a major conference next week. 

Representatives are uniting for an event being held by the Chartered Institute for the Management of Sport and Physical Activity (CIMSPA) at the event titled: ‘Sport and activity at the heart of the community: Making the case’.

Held at the Roe Valley Leisure Centre, in Limavady, on Tuesday March 19, keynote speakers include Phil Collins, former Chief Executive Officer of Hertsmere Trust, and John McMullan, Chief Executive Officer of Bryson Charitable Group.

Mr Collins will be talking to delegates about the potential of Councils in Northern Ireland creating  ‘Leisure Trusts’, as an alternative to outsourcing and the community well-being benefits of this type of delivery model.

Mr McMullan will be outlining the advantages of setting up social enterprises in Northern Ireland. He will talk about the journey his company has taken moving from a traditional charity, based on grant aid and donations, to a vibrant social enterprise – which has been ranked the UK’s third best private business social enterprise of the year, by the Royal Bank of Scotland.

Diarmaid McAuley, from Sport Northern Ireland, will also be in attendance to reveal how the Active Communities programme in Northern Ireland has helped increase sport and physical activity participation among underrepresented groups. To date, Active Communities has touched more than 170,000 people in Northern Ireland.

Chair of CIMSPA Northern Ireland, Paul Lyness, said he is looking forward to staging the national event in Limavady.

Mr Lyness, head of leisure services at Ballymoney Borough Council said:

“We are really looking forward to hosting the CIMSPA seminar in Limavady, which has attracted a number of high calibre speakers.

As Belfast celebrates the World Police and Fire Games this August, we want to make sure sport and physical activity is on the agenda for what is turning out to be an exciting year of sport for the whole of Northern Ireland.

The event is an ideal opportunity for those working across all spectrums of the sport and physical activity arena to avail of what I believe will be a very informative seminar.

I anticipate the knowledge and education of the sector showcased at this event will help breathe new life into the sport and physical activity industry in Northern Ireland.”

Sean Holt, Chief Executive Officer of CIMSPA, said:

“As the representative body of the sport and physical activity workforce, it is our ultimate goal to help increase sport participation across the UK.

CIMSPA’s Northern Ireland leaders are working hard to realise this ambition.

We will continue to work hard to ensure the sport and physical activity workforce of tomorrow is ready for the challenges it faces in encouraging more people in Northern Ireland to take up sport and physical activity.

By doing this we believe this will not only encourage people to become active but we will also help to drive Northern Ireland’s sport and physical activity’s economy.”

Barry Toorish, Leisure Services Manager, for Limavady Borough Council said: “I am delighted to host CIMSPA’s second Northern Ireland seminar at a time when the demand and expectations on leisure have never been greater.”




  • Launched in 2011, CIMSPA is the professional development body for the UK’s sport and physical activity sector.
  • CIMSPA provides leadership, support and empowerment for professionals working in sport and physical activity and a single unified voice for the sector. It also aims to drive standards of professional practice, which in turn will support increased participation, outcomes and profit.
  • CIMSPA has been awarded Chartership status by the Royal Privy Council, which came into effect at the start of January 2012.

Donna Roddy, Citydesk Sport, on behalf of CIMSPA


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