NIO launches Centenary Athletics Programme
Children from across Northern Ireland will have a unique opportunity to compete alongside Olympic and World Championship athletes under a new sporting initiative announced by the NIO as part of its Centenary year programme.
The once-in-a-lifetime experience will be the culmination of a three week Children’s Summer Athletics Programme, which launches today (29 July) and will see 250 children from across Northern Ireland receive coaching delivered by athletic clubs in Derry/Londonderry, Belfast, Armagh and Omagh, supported by Athletics NI.
As part of the NIO initiative, children will compete in a series of activities and their progress will be monitored throughout the programme, culminating in regional finals which will see the top three girls and top three boys in each region selected.
These children will then take part in a National Final at the Belfast International Track and Field Meet, which will take place at the Mary Peters Track on 11 September. There, they will meet Northern Ireland sporting stars of the past and present.
This year’s Belfast International Track and Field Event is also being supported by the NIO as part of its Centenary programme, and will showcase Northern Ireland’s world class athletic facilities and athletics successes. The high-profile event will see up to 200 elite athletes from across the UK, Ireland, the US, Canada, New Zealand, Japan and elsewhere converge on Northern Ireland.
Following hot on the heels of the Tokyo Olympics, the event is expected to attract returning Olympic and Paralympic competitors. It will culminate in a prize giving ceremony involving Northern Ireland sporting icon and Olympic gold medal winner Lady Mary Peters, followed by a VIP evening reception celebrating NI’s finest athletes and athletic successes.