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Sports Links

Find out what other sports activites you can take part in.

Sports and Wellbeing for everyone

See below for sporting and wellbeing opportunities everyone, young and old can take part in, in the Ards and North Down area.

Open Water Safety Awareness Programme


The Council has been successful in a bid for Funding from Sport NI to deliver an Open Water Safety Awareness Programme, this was in direct response to the increasing numbers of both individuals and small clusters of individuals enjoying the open water across the Borough. Key spots for swimmers include Donaghadee, Crawfordsburn, Bangor, Ballyholme and Helens Bay.

The aim of the project is to provide local swimmers with the knowledge to stay safe and to equip individuals with fundamental skills such as;

  • where to enter and exit points
  • to assess conditions before entering water - tides/ rips
  • to acclimatise in cold water/ control breathing; and
  • what to do if you get into difficulties.

In partnership with Swim Ulster and Open Water Expert Maureen McCoy the programme will deliver the following;


Open Water Safety Zoom Webinars delivered by Maureen McCoy

Session 1 - Tuesday 2nd November 2021 7pm – 8pm (45mins delivery with 15mins   Q&A)
Topic Area - Water Safety including cold water shock, acclimatising and essential skills for open water swimmers.

Session 2 – Tuesday 9th November 2021 7pm – 8pm (45mins delivery with 15mins Q&A)
Topic Area - Cold Water - Adapting strokes, dealing with waves, swim failure - how to keep yourself safe

This webinar is now full, please contact Swim Ulster to express your interest in future webinars by emailling  Please note we will be delivering another webinar around late March ahead of the Open Water season.

View the FREE Open Water Safety Tips Booklet written by Maureen McCoy and Swim Ulster.

Donaghadee Masterclass - Beach to Buoy Course

  • Dates/times and Location: Saturday 13 and Sunday 14 November from 9.30am to 10.30am and the slipway Donaghadee. You will be required to attend a pre-course Zoom meeting (the date & time and link will be emailed).
  • Aimed: Anyone who regularly swims in open water.
  • Course Content: The focus of the course will be safety and technique.
  • Cost: £10 per person
  • Max participants: 12 per course


Skipperstone Bangor Masterclass - Beach to Buoy Course

  • Dates/times and Location: Saturday 20 and Sunday 21 November 11am to 12 noon at Skipperstone Beach Bangor. You will be required to attend a pre–course Zoom meeting (the date & time and link will be emailed).
  • Aimed: Anyone who regularly swims in open water.
  • Course Content: The focus of the course will be safety and technique.
  • Cost: £10 per person
  • Max participants: 12 per course

If you have any queries regarding the courses please contact

Details of beginners Beach to Buoy Courses will be available next year prior to the start of the open water season. Details to follow.

AXA Community Bike Rides

The AXA Community Bike Rides team have worked on developing short video clips on the above such topics so that for those who want to improve their cycling technique, they can look to engage with strength training clips or interval training, or for those who may like to improve their bike fitting and maintenance skills, they have access to short tutorial clips on how to go about doing this.

The first four clips of this series (Indoor Training for Beginners, Strength Training for Cycling (Part 1, Bike and brake check, How to maintain your bike chain) have already been launched on Facebook, with another 6 clips being shared over the coming month. Click here to view.

Sport Wellbeing Hub

Sport NI has been working with Inspire Wellbeing to develop an online resource hub around Mental Health and Wellbeing for sports, and you will be glad to know that we are ready to go out live to the sporting community today to launch this.

The Sport Wellbeing Hub, provides a fantastic range of innovative tools and resources, which will help is deal with the challenges we are all experiencing at this time, including:

  • Guided self-assessment via ‘Chatbot’;
  • Self-help programmes and digital intervention tools;
  • Searchable ‘5 ways to wellbeing’ map;
  • Wellbeing information library; and
  • Video content featuring some of our sporting heroes talking about mental health.

Whether looking for some advice or need a little more direction, please visit The Sports Wellbeing Hub

Working With Parents in Sport

Working With Parents in Sport have recently produced a new book entitled ‘Two Hats: A guide for those coaching or thinking of coaching their own children’.  As well as this they have created a range of webinars that may be of use to coaching, clubs or parents within your sport.  Information on these can be accessed via the following link:

 If you wish to contact Working With Parents in Sport by email, contact:

The Irish FA will be running a webinar titled, Positive Engagement of Parents, on Thursday 14th October from 7-8pm hosted by Tosh Farrell.

Tosh Farrell is the former Head of International Football Development and Technical Coordinator at Everton FC. Tosh has spent 13 years developing his Soccer Development Methodology at one of the leading youth academies in the world, helping develop numerous players who have gone on to represent Everton FC 1st team. These players include Wayne Rooney, Ross Barkley, Jack Rodwell and Callum McManaman.

Clubs - Save with Vira Hygiene

The Northern Ireland Sports Forum is delighted to announce further savings  for sports clubs and facilities as part of our recently announced partnership with commercial hygiene solutions firm Vira Hygiene. Vira Hygiene provide a range of hand sanitiser and hygiene solutions to help businesses and sports organisations maintain a safe environment for facility users.

As part of this partnership, Vira Hygiene will give an increased discount when purchasing any of their hand sanitiser dispensers. These dispensers can provide a 50% cost saving to manual dispensers and can be uniquely branded to your organisation or facility.

The Vira Hygiene automatic hand sanitiser dispensers can be easily installed throughout your facility to encourage regular use. Their certified alcohol hand sanitiser kills 99.9% of germs to protect against the transfer of viruses and disease.

If interested, contact Vira Hygiene through Frank Delargy, Vira Hygiene Ireland, on 07936 800865 or

For further information visit