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Helping local clubs get started and develop.


How we can help your club

Clubs are the backbone of sport in our community and Sports Development offers support and advice to ensure all clubs, new and established, can deliver a quality experience.

Our team can provide all the information required to start a new club, develop coaching, put the necessary quality and safeguarding procedures in place and create opportunities for individuals to take part from beginner to elite level.

Sports Forum

Ards and North Down Sports Forum exists to support the development, establishment and sustainability of local sports clubs.

It is a voluntary organisation of the Sports Development team, affiliated sports clubs and organisations and associations based or delivering sport within the Ards and North Down borough.

The role of the forum is to:

  • act as a consultative body between council and the sporting community
  • provide grants (see below) to support local sports organisations and athletes
  • inform its members about relevant sporting news
  • contribute to sports development in the area

Joining the Sports Forum

To access the help and support of the forum, clubs and organisations must be affiliated members.

Affiliation runs from 1 April to 31 March with an annual fee of £25.

Apply now - Sports Forum Affiliation Form.

Sports Forum Meetings

Meetings are held on the first Tuesday of each month. The AGM will take place on Thursday 1 June, 7pm at Londonderry Park.

All forum members nominate a member to represent them at the meetings.


Funding is available to clubs through the annual Sports Forum Grant and Captial Grant Scheme.

Click here for full details.

Annual Sports Awards

The Ards and North Down Sports Awards take place annually with nominations opening every December.

Click here for more information about the Sports Awards

Education Courses

Sports Education Courses

Our Sports Education programme for sports clubs, coaches and volunteers is delivered annually between the months of September and March. The programme includes courses which will help develop and enhance the skills and knowledge of personnel, enabling them to deliver their sport to the best possible standard.

Click here for full details on upcoming courses


All clubs should strive to attain their governing body's accreditation, if available.

Sports Development can help and advise sports clubs achieve Clubmark accreditation.

Having Clubmark accreditation recognises your club as a safe, and quality environment for participants of all ages to enjoy sport and stay involved throughout their lives.

Sports Directory

The Sports Directory is a comprehensive online guide to the sporting activities and clubs operating in the Ards and North Down area.

It lists over 33 different sports and 84 sports clubs and organisations from across the borough and is an excellent point of reference for anyone wishing to join a local club.

Clubs affiliated to the Sports Forum can be included free of charge in the directory. A £10 fee applies to unaffiliated clubs and organisations.

The Sports Directory Registration Form 2023/24, is now available. 

Go to the Sports Directory

Elite Athletes

Funding is available to elite athletes from the Ards and North Down borough, through Goldcard membership of the local leisure facilities and grants for Travel/Accommodation costs.

Application Forms and Guidance Notes are available on our Resources page