Dungiven Sports Centre has just become the first sports facility in Northern Ireland to be awarded the excellence level of Disability Sport NI’s prestigious ‘Inclusive Sports Facility Accreditation’ scheme.
The Inclusive Sports Facility (ISF) Accreditation Scheme was developed by Disability Sport NI to recognise excellence in the design of sports facilities which are inclusive of disabled people. Although 13 sports facilities across Northern Ireland have now achieved ISF Accreditation since the scheme was launched in 2010, Dungiven Sports Centre is the first to achieve the excellence level, the highest level of accreditation possible.
In order to secure the award, officials from Causeway, Coast and Glens Borough Council and Kennedy Fitzgerald Architects worked closely with access consultants from Disability Sport NI throughout the design and build process, ensuring that a high level of accessibility and inclusive design was considered and addressed. As a result the centre has excellent levels of access and a number of pieces of Inclusive Fitness Initiative accredited equipment in the fitness suite and is now regularly used as a training venue by the County Wheelchair Hurling team.
Congratulating Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council and Kennedy Fitzgerald Architects on their achievement Kevin O’Neill, Chief Executive Officer at Disability Sport NI said:
“The Council and Kennedy Fitzgerald Architects embraced the accreditation process from the onset, considering and addressing a complex range of access issues, and the results of their efforts are clearly impressive. Not only have they designed and built a state of the art sports facility, they have also developed a building which meets the needs of people with disabilities.
“The centre has also become the first of 13 sports facilities across Northern Ireland to achieve the excellence level of ISF accreditation, which speaks volumes about the dedication of the design team at Kennedy Fitzgerald Architects.”
Speaking at the presentation of the ISF award, which featured a wheelchair basketball demonstration by pupils from St Canice’s Primary School, Councillor Brenda Chivers, Mayor of Causeway Coast and Glens Borough Council said:
“We are immensely proud that Dungiven Sports Centre is the first of its kind to achieve this standard of excellence. The state-of-the-art building ensures that all residents have access to recreational facilities which support positive lifestyle choices and the creation of healthy, engaged and resilient communities.”
Antoinette Mckeown, Sport Northern Ireland CEO said,
“Sport Northern Ireland is delighted that the Causeway, Coast and Glens Council have achieved this award which ensures that not only are facilities accessible for everyone, but the management policies and procedures are also inclusive.
“Sport Northern Ireland has been working closely with the centre’s design team and Disability Sport NI’s Access Consultant to assist the council in meeting the requirements of the ISF Excellence Accreditation. The Dungiven Sports Centre is a shining example of best practice in both accessible design and management of the centre and we congratulate everyone involved in their hard work to achieve the highest level of accreditation.”
For further information on the Inclusive Sports Facility Accreditation Scheme please visit http://www.dsni.co.uk/sports-facility-access/isf-accreditation.