A conference took place in Belfast today hosted by the Department for Communities which provided an opportunity for those involved in safety across the sports sector and beyond to hear from experts on a broad range of safety topics.
The event brought together a wide range of stakeholders - Government, Local Government, emergency services, Sports Governing Bodies and Clubs, Sports Ground owners and operators, and many others.
A Departmental spokesperson said: “We are all aware that safety is an issue we cannot stand still on. We must always be learning and improving and ensuring the highest standards of safety at all of our events. That ranges from the weekly matches and other events held throughout the country on a regular basis, right through to major international sporting events.
“We, in Northern Ireland, have a great track record in delivering world class events. Northern Ireland has already demonstrated that it is an internationally recognised location for major events. This year will see Northern Ireland hosting major international sporting events such as the UEFA Womens’ Under 19 World Championships and the Women’s Rugby World Cup Finals.
“Today’s conference shows that there is a real appetite in Northern Ireland to continue to improve standards by sharing information and learning from other sectors. Events such as this will help to broaden the knowledge, understanding and capacity amongst those involved in safety at sports events, and will result in a more professional approach to safety provision."
Over 140 delegates attended the conference and heard from an international panel of experts on a range of topics that impact safety at sports events. The speakers at the Conference included Dr David McManus from the NI Ambulance Service, Andy Murphy of Eventsec, Brian McNeill from Systechnica who spoke about the threats of new technology and gave a demonstration of Drones, Geoff Wilson spoke about safety at the World’s Fastest Road Race while Professor Clifford Stott from Keele University spoke about the dynamics of crowd behaviour. The final presenter at the conference was the Silver Commander at the European Championship Finals in France last year, Superintendant Nigel Goddard from the PSNI.
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