The Northern Ireland Sports Forum is obviously aware of the concerns raised about the future of the Belfast Marathon and other events over the last number of weeks. New legislation recently introduced in Northern Ireland will have a detrimental impact on the ability of organisations such as Athletics NI, Triathlon Ireland and local authorities to coordinate events in the coming months and years due to an increase in costs and administrative pressures being put on a wide range of sports clubs and organisations who seek to increase physical activity in local communities.
This issue was discussed at the All Party Group on Sport & Physical Recreation at the NI Assembly on 23rd April with all in attendance issuing their support for sports governing bodies who will be impacted by such changes. NI Sports Forum is secretariat to the group and is working alongside the five largest political parties and member organisations to seek immediate discussions with the relevant authorities to limit the detrimental impact this legislation will have.
NI Sports Forum and our members are concerned that there will be a wide range of events such as the Belfast Marathon cancelled due to the increased costs placed on organisers. There are hundreds of local community events which raise money for charities and local sports clubs could also be impacted and introducing a high level of costs could be massively counter productive as this will result in a decrease in people maintaining an active lifestyle and reducing funds raised for charities and sports clubs.