Grassroots Sports

Oral Answers to Questions — Communities – in the Northern Ireland Assembly at 3:15 pm on 7th December 2020.

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Photo of David Hilditch David Hilditch DUP 3:15 pm, 7th December 2020

T1. Mr Hilditch asked the Minister for Communities to clarify the situation with grassroots sports, particularly on the younger side, given that there has been a lot of talk and communication about elite sports, which have got back on the road again, albeit with barriers in place. (AQT 791/17-22)

Photo of Carál Ní Chuilín Carál Ní Chuilín Sinn Féin

I thank the Member for his question. I know about his interest in grassroots sport. I will, hopefully, get a bit more detail on that today or early tomorrow. The number of spectators has increased, but I think that the Member is asking me whether training and so on can recommence. I am still waiting on those regulations to be sorted out.

I hope that they will be sorted out as soon as possible, because I know that a lot of the sporting bodies, and particularly the smaller clubs, have been excellent at social distancing and at providing sanitisers for the youngsters and trying to keep them as safe as possible.

Photo of David Hilditch David Hilditch DUP

I appreciate the Minister's answer, and I am sure that she will appreciate that kids are now developing from around five or six years of age through to early teens before they go into the older age groups, so I am talking about that very young element, who have lost out so much this year. I am seeking the Minister's support for that to be looked into as quickly as possible and clarity sought.

Photo of Carál Ní Chuilín Carál Ní Chuilín Sinn Féin

The Chair of the Communities Committee is here, and, when those regulations are brought forward and further clarification and guidance is offered, it will be copied to the Committee. I will make sure that it is copied to you as well.