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Sport4Life Conference and Expo to be major player in sport and wellbeing


Pictured at the launch of the Sport4Life Conference and Expo at the Finn Valley AC Centrein Stranorlar on Tuesday were (l-r) Cllr Liam Doherty; Mary Daly, Donegal County Council; Michael Black, Club and CoachDevelopment Manager, Triathlon Ireland, Cllr Patrick McGowan; Patsy McGonagle, Finn Valley AC; Cathaoirleach Donegal County Council, Cllr Ciaran Brogan;Chief Executive, Donegal County Council, Seamus Neely; Brendan O’Donnell, HSE;Barry McCullagh, Director BASICC, Nikki Bradley Fitness Trainer; Alan Thompson, Principal, Finn Valley College; Helen Cleary and Nicola Doherty BASICC


The opportunity to enhance the quality of sport and physical activity throughout Donegal and beyond has provided the inspiration for the inaugural Sport4Life Conference and Expo which will be staged at venues throughout Ballybofey and Stranorlar this coming November.


With its focus on focus on networking, education and research this unique event is certain to become an important date for anyone remotely interesting in fitness, well being or just activities in general.


And the event will have as its star attraction a man currently regarded as one of the best in the world, Olympic, European and Commonwealth gold medallist, Alistair Brownlee, MBE.


He will be joined by many of the county’s top athletes including Olympian Maria McCambridge, marathon runner, Gary Crossan and adventure sports enthusiast and conqueror of Everest, Jason Black.


Other special guests will include Kieran Murray, who is just back from the World Transplant Games and the inspirational Nikki Bradley, who was diagnosed with a rare form of bone cancer at 16 will tell her story and highlight the importance of exercise for rehabilitation.


As Ballybofey-Stranorlar has been designated at a Sports Hub for the county, this event will be coordinated by Donegal County Council in association with Triathlon Ireland, Athletics Ireland, the HSE, Finn Valley Centre and the Ballybofey and Stranorlar Integrated Community Company (BASICC).


Speaking at the launch of the event last Tuesday at the Finn Valley Centre, Donegal County Council’s Chief Executive, Seamus Neely said they were happy to be a lead partner in this inaugural event stating it fitted into an overall strategy that had been adopted by the Council which looked at potential in different parts of the county involving different themes of particular interest to each area.


He added that despite the negatives of the recession, people had also developed positives and one was their inclination towards looking after their physical wellbeing. This conference and expo would target these people with expert advice in a number of fields and together with the other key partners, he hoped the initiative would develop and strengthen in the years to come.


Cathaoirleach Cllr Ciaran Brogan paid tribute to the organisers and praised the energy and dedication shown by competitors from all sports in Donegal in making their mark locally, nationally and internationally.


He said sport had a huge role to play in today’s society and its development left no one in doubt that its advantages certainly had a positive bearing on society in general.


“Donegal County Council is committed to being part of the community and events like this are another important part of that,” he said.


Other speakers at the launch included Michael Black, Club and Coach Development Manager, Triathlon Ireland; Brendan O’Donnell from the HSE, Patsy McGonagle from the Finn Valley Centre, Barry McCullagh, BASICC and fitness expert and founder of ‘Fighting Fit for Ewings’ organisation, Nikki Bradley


The conference will cover topics such as Health and Wellbeing, Nutrition, Physical Health, Care of Joints, Mental Health, Motivation as well as break-out rotational sessions on running, cycling, swimming with head coaches from Triathlon and Athletics Ireland also dealing with moving to competitive.


The Expo section of the event will feature stands advertising the many products, gear and foods now available to athletes. It will be open all weekend to both the general public and to those attending Sport4Life.


A gala dinner will take place on the Saturday night followed by an ‘Ask the Experts’ style forum where you can pose your questions directly to our many sporting special guests. 


The weekend will close on Sunday with a fun Aquaton event, run by Triathlon Ireland – this will incorporate swimming and running or just running for those not interested in the swim.  There will also be the concluding event of Triathlon Ireland’s ‘Try a Tri’ Women’s Course and the Finn Valley Remembrance 10 km.  Refreshments and conference close will follow.


'Health' will be one of the major focus points over the weekend in terms of the Health Promotional aspect to 'Sport4Life' and the benefits to people.  This will provide an ideal platform for businesses to be associated with an event that brings practitioners from the field of sport and health sharing their knowledge and experiences in a positive manner to the public.  There will also be space available for health/wellbeing services to exhibit their information over the weekend.


To book your place on Sport4Life, contact [email protected] or contact (074) 9190909. The conference fee of €100 covers conference lunch and gala dinner.  Special accommodation rates available in all local hotels and B & B’s by quoting Sport4Life.


If your business would like to exhibit or advertise at the Sport4Life, there are many different sponsorship rates available, again you can contact (074) 9190909.



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