The Ulster Sports Academy recently organised a Sport and Good relations Conference along with Omagh District Council.
Two Olympic Gold Medallists, an Irish International Rugby Player, a GAA All Star and a leading academic in sport for development took part in the Omagh Sport for Good Relations Conference .
Dr David Hassan from the Ulster Sports Academy discussed the important role that sport can play in creating opportunities to engage, as well as building symbols of change where everyone can co existence.
Leading sporting figures then shared their experiences within sport.
The Sport and Good Relations Conference focused on how sport can be used as a tool to build bridges between communities, while improving social engagement, integration, building trust and diversity.
Dame Mary Peters opened the conference, talking about her experiences that ultimately led to her winning gold at the Munich Olympic Games, She highlighted the importance of role models and the need to build a legacy for the future.
Dr Nigel Carr discussed how cultures have been integrated to build lasting friendships across the community.
Dr Stephen Martin spoke about how he moved from a gold medal winning hockey player to management roles with the GB and then Ireland Olympic squads, highlighting the logistics involved in building a team spirit within a national Olympic squad.
Peter Canavan highlighted the role of sport in breaking down barriers – and how GAA have developed a series of outreach projects to integrate within the community.
The Culture, Arts and Sports Programme is run in collaboration with the European Union’s European Regional Development EU Programme for Peace and Reconciliation managed for the Special EU Programmes Body by the NW Peace III Cluster.
The Peace III Programme aims to reinforce progress towards a peaceful and stable society and promote reconciliation among communities.
PICTURED: Kyle Ferguson ( Ulster Sports Academy), Nigel Carr, Stephen Martin, Coleen McBrien, (Omagh District Council) Peter Canavan, Dame Mary Peters and Dr David Hassan (University of Ulster).