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Sport & Human Rights Forum hosts webinar on impact of Covid on children’s access to sport

10 Nov 2020

Sport & Human Rights Forum hosts webinar on impact of Covid-19 on children’s access to sport

The Northern Ireland Sport & Human Rights Forum hosted a special webinar on the impact of Covid-19 restrictions on sport and physical activity for children on Wednesday.

The event heard from guest speakers Professor Marie Murphy from Ulster University, and Paul Stephenson from the NSPCC’s Child Protection in Sport Unit, and was attended virtually by over sixty representatives of the sporting world.

NIHRC Chief Executive, Dr David Russell, said:

“The Commission welcomed this opportunity to engage with individuals from every area of sport - from sport bodies to participants - on Covid-19 and its impact on access to sport. We are committed to partnering with sport bodies to create a culture of human rights, and assist them to improve the good work they are often already doing. We look forward to strengthening these relationships even further, and continuing to equip members - particularly through the current difficult circumstances – to embed the Northern Ireland Declaration on Sport and Human Rights.”

Forum Chair and Operations Manager for the Northern Ireland Commonwealth Games Council, Conal Heatley, said:

“In addition to the terrible impact upon people’s health and livelihoods, Covid-19 has decimated both local and international sport during 2020. Today’s webinar shone a light specifically on the impact that the pandemic is having, and will continue to have, on our young people within sport. The presentations made by Paul Stephenson (NSPCC Child Protection in Sport Unit) and Prof. Marie Murphy (Ulster University) really highlighted the potential long term damage that we need to consider. While we can’t pretend to have a ready solution, the discussions certainly helped to raise awareness of the issue and will hopefully help to inform future policy. I’d like to thank all those who attended, our speakers and SportNI for their contributions, and the NI Human Rights Commission for their continued support.”

For further information on the Northern Ireland Sport & Human Rights Forum, click here. To sign up for updates on future meetings and events, contact Zara Porter at:


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