Investing in Our Youth: Final Report

Research output: Book/ReportCommissioned reportpeer-review


Sport plays a significant role in local, national and community development. The power of sport as a universal activity has led to its recognition by the United Nations as an important tool for social development.The EU Programme for Peace and Reconciliation in Northern Ireland and the Border Region of Ireland (2007-2013 is a distinctive European Union Structural Funds Programme) aimed at ‘reinforcing progress towards a peaceful and stable society and promoting reconciliation’. This project was focused on reconciling communities and contributing towards a shared society using an innovative programme to engage and empower identified participants within the community, with a targeted focus on youth. This report seeks to examine the role of sport as a tool used for developing young people and as a tool for peace and reconciliation within the Southern Partnership of Armagh, Banbridge, Craigavon, Newry and Mourne, Louth and Monaghan.This review is based on a series of interviews with local stakeholders and a review of secondary sources focusing on local initiatives that involve young people in sport, in their communities. Examples of good practice are detailed.The report will examine international models of good practice for the development of youth in peace and reconciliation programmes. An alternative model for sport and recreation development will be introduced. Young people within the Southern Partnership faced a number of barriers; the most common themes are apathy, previous negative experiences, poor awareness aware of existing services, and parental assumptions.Organisations within the Southern Partnership experienced a number of barriers; the most common themes were perceptions on short-term funding, lack of funding due to the wider economic situation, a general scarcity of human resources, which in turn impacts on the ability for organisations to learn from their experiences. In addition to these other issues raised were a general concern about how the funding system worked to push local groups to the periphery and a mixed of beliefs about the role and type of sport in peace activities.The needs expressed centred around four themes, financial, human and physical resources and also the marketing and promotion of available services.The report then examines some models of international good practice before proposing model that is grounded in the barriers and needs to local people within the Southern Partnership.The report concludes with a series of recommendations for continued work in this area.
Original languageEnglish
PublisherUnknown Publisher
Number of pages24
Publication statusPublished (in print/issue) - Mar 2011


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