Sports Competitors

Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport written question – answered on 5th December 2018.

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Photo of Gregory Campbell Gregory Campbell Shadow DUP Spokesperson (International Development), Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Cabinet Office)

To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, if he will hold discussions with (a) his counterparts in the devolved administration and (b) the relevant sporting bodies to ensure that sportspeople in all parts of the UK can represent Great Britain and Northern Ireland.

Photo of Mims Davies Mims Davies Assistant Whip (HM Treasury), The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport

It is open to all sportspeople in the UK to represent Great Britain and Northern Ireland where appropriate. In addition, both the UK Government and UK Sport recognise the birthright of all the people of Northern Ireland to identify themselves and be accepted as Irish or British, or both, as they may so choose. This right extends to athletes from Northern Ireland having the choice to represent Great Britain and Northern Ireland or Ireland at a national level in their given sport should they wish to do so. At times this will be subject to the overarching rules applied by the individual Governing Bodies of the sport.

Sporting matters are devolved, and eligibility and selection for international competition remain matters for the relevant sports authorities. However, sporting organisations have an important role to play in contributing to inclusion in Northern Ireland and across the United Kingdom. Through the sports cabinet, I will continue to discuss sporting matters across the UK.

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