Throughout 2011 Limerick has been celebrating its designation as Ireland’s first European City of Sport. As the year draws to a close, a National Sports Conference titled ‘Positive change through sport – all to play for’, has been organised.
The event will take place by the banks of the river Shannon, in the heart of the city at the Clarion Hotel on 25th November .
For several years through the efforts of Shannon Development, Limerick City Council Limerick County Council and other local partners, Limerick has been adapting and redefining itself as a city, with new riverside developments and a changing economic landscape.
In the current recessionary period there is a strong need to continue this drive for change and accelerate further, to firmly establish the city as a modern progressive regional capital.
Sport is a key strength for Limerick at national and international level and has been one of a number of key development drivers, through which progress in tourism, enterprise, investment and regeneration has been secured.
The city is recognised as a great sporting centre and it is appropriate that this conference is being hosted at this time. This is one of many conferences attracted to the city this year, and will focus on themes such as sport in the economy, business and urban regeneration and also European best practice together with some of the outstanding local sporting developments.
Expert speakers have been attracted to participate from other European cities of sport such as Cardiff, North Lanarkshire near Glasgow and a link up with San Jose in USA is also planned.
One of Ireland’s most renowned sportsmen, Jimmy Deenihan, Minister for Arts and Culture will open the conference. He knows the city very well from his days as a PE student at the University of Limerick in the 1970s and he will formally kick off proceedings.
During the course of the day, the programme will be handled by leading RTE sports broadcaster Marty Morrissey from the nearby Banner County, who has recently returned from the World Boxing Championships in Kazakstan.
This will help as he introduces legendary Irish boxer Barry McGuigan back to Limerick again since opening the ‘Figthing Irish Exhibition’ in the UL Arena earlier this year.
Barry will outline his current work promoting boxing with young disadvantaged and his plans to develop a series of boxing academies in the UK and Ireland.
The Cardiff presentation will look at long term strategic planning for sport in cities and outline the economic spin offs achieved from the 2012 London Olympics and Paralympics. North Lanarkshire will present how sport is a key part of its regeneration strategy after the decline of the local steel industry, with the loss of over 40,000 jobs.
Local presentations on some of Limerick’s recent flagship sports developments such as Thomond Park and the University of Limerick Sports Campus will share their performance, impact and plans for the future.
Meanwhile as Limerick FC, prepare to move back to their spiritual home in the historic Markets Field for the 2012 season, sporting visionary Pat O’Sullivan will share his new community based model for League of Ireland football.
Some of the innovative projects supports include those in the regeneration areas, the prison football programme and their unique link up with Arsenal Community coaches who hosted local football camps in the Southill this summer.
The conference is aimed at all those responsible for or with an interest in promoting, planning or development of sport. Those involved in the business of sport and its role in the economy will also find it useful and is open to all. An interesting and informative day is in store.
Further details available from:
Limerick City of Sport
Phone: +353 61 402202 (or)