The Department promotes sport in the context of its strategy for sport: Sport Matters: The Northern Ireland Strategy for Sport and Physical Recreation, 2009 – 2019. Sport Matters articulates a Vision for sport of: “a culture of lifelong enjoyment and success in sport.”
In pursuit of this vision, the Department oversees and monitors the delivery of targets for sport and physical recreation to be achieved over the 10 year life of the strategy. The Sports Matters strategy has three main strands which reflect the current and anticipated needs of sport in the areas of:
The Department is seeking to improve levels and frequency of participation in sport and physical recreation across the Northern Ireland population.
Sport Matters contains 11 high level participation targets designed to achieve improvements in sports participation rates that fit with the UK chief medical officers' recommendations in relation to healthy physical activity. The targets are aimed at children and adults, and groups of people (eg women, people with a disability, people suffering socio-economic disadvantage) currently under represented in sport. The participation targets set out within Sport Matters also contribute to wider Government agendas in areas such as health, education, the economy, community relations, community development, crime reduction, and addressing social disadvantage.
To achieve these targets, the Department works with a range of partners to improve opportunities for participation at school, community and grass roots levels.
The Department is seeking to encourage the development of more successful sports organisations, systems and athletes.
Sport Matters contains nine performance targets that are designed to support the continuous modernisation of sports organisations, the development of coaches and coaching standards, the development of talent and improved athlete performance.
As well as being important in their own right, the performance targets set out within Sport Matters are an essential complement to its participation targets. They also contribute to wider Government agendas in areas such as the economy, employment and learning and improving Northern Ireland's image at home and abroad.
The Department is supporting and encouraging the development of modern, more widely accessible and fit for purpose places that can be used for sporting and physical recreation purposes.
Sport Matters contains six places targets aimed at encouraging:
- the development of more multi-purpose and locally accessible community sports and recreation facilities
- appropriate use of public land and the countryside for sport and recreation
- the complementary development of Olympic and Paralympic standard facilities
- major stadium development
- legislative and planning policy
The Places targets set out within Sport Matters are intended to underpin those relating to participation and performance. They also contribute to wider Government agendas in areas like the economy, urban and rural development, community development, community relations, community safety, crime reduction, tackling disadvantage and improving Northern Ireland's image at home and abroad.
Sport Matters was developed by the Department, in partnership with Sport Northern Ireland, and approved by the Northern Ireland Executive in December 2009.
Through Sport Matters the Department aspires to secure:
- a world class start and lifelong involvement in sport and physical recreation for all people
- world class performances by teams and individuals
- a sustainable sporting and physical recreation culture that contributes to broader Government objectives
About the SMMG
For information about terms of reference and membership of the Sport Matters Monitoring Group, visit the following page:
Presentations relating to the work of the Sports Matters Monitoring Group:
*nb this includes Sports Facilities Strategy Project and Sports Facilities Fund.
Papers relating to the Sport Matters Monitoring Group meetings can be found on the following page. For each meeting, an agenda and minutes are available to download:
Implementation Group Reports
Reports highlighting the progress made by members of the Sport Matters Implementation Groups (SMIGs) against the 26 high-level targets identified in the Sport Matters Strategy can be found on the following page: