Sports Leadership Programme Tackles Anti-Social Behaviour through Youth Engagement

Wednesday 4th January 2023

​ Ards and North Down Borough Council’s Policing and Community Safety Partnership (PCSP) has partnered with the Council’s Sports Development team to help reduce anti-social behaviour through its annual sports leadership programme that supports youth engagement.

A free programme of online sessions will be delivered in February and March by the Community Sports Network to coaches, young trainee coaches and leaders of sports organisations – and with a limited number of places available, they are being encouraged to sign up before the programmes are oversubscribed.

The Community Sports Network has been using sport as a tool to develop social needs across Northern Ireland for more than 16 years. They provide an inclusive environment where future young leaders from all areas of the community, regardless of background, can come together to enhance their leadership and coaching qualifications, giving them the confidence to deliver similar sessions and share their knowledge within their own clubs.

In Ards and North Down, two courses are open to those aged 16 and over, while the third provides a Level 1 Sports Leadership Award qualification and is open to those aged 14 and over. The Level 1 Award consists of four online sessions plus four in-person sessions (two hours per session) and provides a qualification aimed at young people who want to become junior sports leaders.

The other two courses are both single online sessions (2-3 hours each) that will equip registrants with new skills that will enable them to effectively engage with young people and also help them to use sport as a tool to manage challenging behaviour.

The Mayor of Ards and North Down, Councillor Karen Douglas, said:

“The first online Sports Leadership Programme was launched two years ago and proved to be very popular. Sport is a great way to stay healthy and these online programmes help to upskill local coaches and leaders. They engage young people and benefit local sports clubs while addressing anti-social behaviour by using sport as a tool.”

The Chair of the PCSP, Councillor Rachel Woods, said:

"I am delighted that the PCSP is able to fund and support this training programme. Engagement in physical activity and the influence of sports coaches can have a really significant effect on the lives of young people. The work of local sports organisations in our community is vital, and they play a key role in diverting many young people from anti-social behaviour and towards positive activity. This programme supports this crucial work and further equips local sporting organisations to engage effectively with young people in our community.”

The courses will take place on the following dates:

  • Developing Resilient Young People (Monday 20 February, 7-9pm)
  • Using Sport as a Tool to Manage Challenging Behaviour (Monday 13 March, 7-9pm)
  • Level 1 Sports Leaders Awards (Thursday evenings from 2 Feb to 23 March, 6.30-8.30pm)

Places for all sessions are limited to a maximum of 20 people. For further information and to register your interest, email