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Source: Northern Ireland City of Armagh

Lord Mayor, Councillor Kevin Savage presents Donald Lucas with his Safe Training Pack at Churchill Park Multi Use Games Area, Portadown

The Lord Mayor, Councillor Kevin Savage recently paid a visit to Churchill Multi Use Games Area (MUGA) in Portadown to see for himself how Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council’s Sport In the Community Programme has adapted to meet the challenges presented by Covid-19.

With the resumption of services prior to the most recent lockdown period (September) it was essential that delivery methods were adjusted to ensure a safe return to physical activity for all involved, something that is highlighted with the council’s community engagement MUGA programme.

The programme has limited the number of participants per session, installed a pre-registration process and issues weekly reminders and emails requesting confirmation of participants attendance prior to the session taking place.

During each session coaches follow a checklist ensuring all equipment and facility touch points have been thoroughly cleaned and participants wash their hands upon arrival. Sessions are to be skill and game based using socially distanced zones, bibs are not to be worn, plus all equipment, touch points and hands are once again washed post session.

Discussions has also been held with funding partners within the Department for Communities Neighbourhood Renewal to explore how to best educate our young people about keeping themselves safe whilst taking part in sport and physical activity which has resulted in the production of safe training packs for all participants.

Each pack contains a boot bag with name label to store belongings separate from others, a water bottle with label to ensure each participant only uses their own, sanitizing gel bottle with clip to allow access to hand cleansing at all times, individual t-shirt to eliminate the need to share bibs plus a membership card to help speed up the sign-in process.

The packs along with the programme, which is organised and delivered by Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council’s Sports Development Team, is funded by the Department for Communities.

For more information and to register online for future MUGA programmes which are due to resume in February 2021 visit: or email

*protected email*

Lord Mayor, Councillor Kevin Savage, Chair of the Neighbourhood Renewal Partnership, North West Portadown Margaret Connelly, Sports Development Officer Gillian Dewart, Community Sports Development Officer Alex Clifford, MUGA Co-ordinator Paul Carvill and Coaches Conor Larkin and John Boyle with the participants in their new tee shirts.

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