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Coronavirus Statement – Sport Northern Ireland

An update on the coronavirus (COVID-19) situation and what our key priorities for sport and physical recreation are at this time.

                                                             Wednesday 18 March 2020


Sport NI is mindful of the developing situation with coronavirus (COVID-19) and we understand that this may be likely to accelerate in the weeks and months ahead. We know that the sport and physical recreation sector is experiencing ongoing and significant challenge as a result.

SportNI is committed is providing support to the sector to ensure that it comes through this period in as strong a position as possible.

In addition SportNI is doing everything it can to encourage people to stay active, where it is possible, and to follow the Public Health Agency guidance.

This may mean adapting what you usually do, in line with the published health advice:-

We want to hear from you.

We want to make sure that whatever action we take has a positive impact. We want to hear from the sector now about the issues you are facing and to take on board your ideas and concerns to feed into our plans.

Please contact us at: and let us know:

  • How coronavirus is impacting you or your organisation.
  • The type of help you think would be most beneficial.

Please keep in touch with us via this email address as you or your organisation’s situation changes.

Supporting the sector

We are in regular communication with our partners, and our sponsor body at the Department for Communities, as we are gathering intelligence about the impact of the virus on the sector.

We are already concerned about the financial impact of this period on certain partners, and we’re looking at options that will help to mitigate this.

We will continue to listen to the views of the sports sector and we are looking at measures to provide support, such as:

  • Contingency planning through this crisis to ensure the sports sector remains resilient.
  • Working flexibly with partners, to help reduce the impact that COVID-19 is having to and to continue our investment in longer term outcomes.
  • Ensure letters of offer are issued and grants are processed on time.
  • Continuing to identify, and helping to ease, the financial and other impacts of COVID-19 on the sporting sector.
  • Continuing to provide safe support to our athletes.


Stay active in sporting activities

We want to do everything we can to support people to stay active, only on the condition that they are well enough and guided to do so. We fully recognise the importance of physical activity during this time, and would encourage people to do so in safe and appropriate environments, keeping in mind the latest Public Health Authority and Government advice.



Staying active improves your physical health, helps you to manage stress and anxiety and generally makes you feel better. Looking after your mental and physical wellbeing is so important at this time. While you can you should remain active through activities such as walking, cycling and running while also ensuring that you are complying with the latest Public Health Authority and Government guidelines.


If you’re one of the many people finding yourself spending more time at home, and you feel well, there’s a wealth of free online content to help you get or keep active – we’re collating some of this and are encouraging people to share some of the best ideas they find online using #sportsafestrong

Useful links



Current situation

As you are probably aware the current advice from the Northern Ireland Executive, Health Promotion Agency NI and Health & Safety Executive NI, as well as our expert group within Sport NI is that we cannot deliver any face to face courses for our customers including use of the Hot Rock Climbing Wall.

We know that you and many others like minded folk are very keen to get back on track with your plans to attend and complete a range of personal skills training and qualifications in a range of disciplines.

Believe us when we say we are equally keen to get outside with you and help you reach your goals and complete that journey.

How do we know? Because every day we get emails and phone calls asking when will courses resume and with every NI Executive mention of easing of restrictions the emails and phone calls are more frequent……