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NI Sport and Human Rights Forum celebrates Good Relations Week 2021

28 Sept 2021

A record number of organisations have attended the recent NI Sport & Human Rights Forum meeting.

Held as part of Good Relations Week 2021, a variety of organisations heard about the positive work being done in the community through sport.

Attendees included representatives from sport governing bodies; Department for Communities, NSPCC, sport charities and community groups, SportNI, SportedNI, the NI Sports Forum, Ulster University, Munster Technological University, Probation Board NI and Unicef attended to hear about the ongoing positive work

Speakers at the event included Zara Grant from Unicef who presented on sport and rights of the child; Adekanmi Abayomi updating on the work of from Ethnic Minority Sports Organisation NI; Chris Wright from the Irish FA Foundation on the Hope United Super Cup event; and Andrea Kearns on a new multi-sport mental health hub.

Conal Heatley, Chair of the NI Sport and Human Rights Forum commented:

The NI Sports and Human Rights Forum continues to grow and develop. Collectively the group has a massive reach and sport plays such a central role in the community here. We had quite a few new members join for the first time and we are delighted with the positive feedback”.

NI Human Rights Commission CEO David Russell said:

“This was a great forum meeting and we were delighted to host it during Good Relations Week. Sport has a big role to play promoting both good relations and human rights. Our next Forum meeting in February will be focused on Gender Identity and Sport and if people would like to attend, they should contact”



  • Michael Boyd, NIHRC
  • Jason McKeown, NIHRC
  • Conal Heatley, Chair of the NI Sport & Human Rights Forum
  • Zara Grant, UNICEF
  • David Russell, CEO NIHRC
  • Kanmi Abayomi, EMSONI
  • Chris Wright, IFA

Additional information

  • The Northern Ireland Sport & Human Rights Forum was established in May 2019. The Forum has been established as a multi-stakeholder platform to facilitate the exchange of knowledge and good practice on sport and human rights issues.
  • The Chair of the NI Sport and Human Rights forum is Conal Heatley, Business and Operations Manager at Commonwealth Games Northern Ireland.
  • The NI Sport and Human Rights Forum meets four times a year and builds on the Declaration of Sport and Human Rights, empowering shared learning in the area of sport and human rights.
  • The Northern Ireland Human Rights Commission is an independent statutory body first proposed in the Belfast (Good Friday) Agreement (1998) and established in 1999 by the Northern Ireland Act (1998). It is answerable to Parliament at Westminster.
  • Good Relations Week runs from 20 – 26 September 2021.
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