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Campbell calls for NI recognition in Olympics team title

Friday, 12 June 2009

Sports Minister Gregory Campbell has called on the UK Sports Cabinet to help ensure that Northern Ireland gets proper recognition in the title of the Great Britain and Northern Ireland Olympics team.

At a meeting of the UK Sports Cabinet this week in London the Minister said it was unfortunate that the title ‘Team GB and Northern Ireland’ was so frequently shortened to ‘Team GB’, particularly in media circles.

“This excludes and indeed alienates the people of Northern Ireland. During discussion I suggested to members of the Sports Cabinet that ‘Team UK’ would be a more fitting and indeed accurate title ensuring that all citizens of the UK could feel part of the success of the national team at the Olympic Games.

“Northern Ireland athletes have made significant contributions to the Great Britain and Northern Ireland Olympic teams over the years. I appreciate that to change the name might not be possible in the short term. However I would like to see the name change being seriously considered for future Olympics Games beyond 2012.”

In a discussion on the legacy benefits to be derived from the 2012 Olympics Minister Campbell stated that encouraging our young people away from their computer games and into healthy pursuits, thereby helping to tackle the issue of obesity, would leave a lasting legacy from the 2012 Olympics.

Mr Campbell also called for the location of major events to be spread evenly throughout the UK. His comments came during a discussion on the development of a UK-wide major events strategy.

The Minister said: “It is important to ensure that all regions of the UK benefit from the opportunities to host major sporting events and that any UK strategy complements the excellent work undertaken by all the devolved administrations in attracting sporting events.”

Notes to Editors:

  1. The UK Sports Cabinet is scheduled to meet on a bi-annual basis and involves the Minsters with responsibility for sport in England, Scotland Wales and Northern Ireland. Also in attendance at the meeting are the Chairs of each of the four regional Sports Councils.
  2. Media enquiries should be addressed to the Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure Press Office. Tel (028) 90515047 or email press.office@dcalni.gov.uk
  3. Out of office hours please contact the Duty Press Officer via pager number 07699 715 440 and your call will be returned.