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The Youth Sport Trust in Northern Ireland

The Youth Sport Trust is a registered charity established in 1994 to build a brighter future for young people in sport. We have created a sporting pathway for all children aged 18 months to 18 years through a series of linked schemes called the TOP programmes. The programmes can now be found in all five of Northern Ireland's Education and Library Board areas and are delivered as a joint venture between the Youth Sport Trust and the Sports Council for Northern Ireland.

Youth Sport Trust Programmes

Pre-School Age

TOP Tots Introduces simple games at home to children aged 18 months to 3 years through a rucksack full of safe, colourful and educationally sound equipment which is enhanced by a resource booklet full of ideas for parents, relatives and carers to undertake activities at home.

TOP Start Develops basic movement and ball skills with children aged 3 to 5 years, through the use of child friendly equipment, resource cards and the provision of training.

Following TOP Start training for deliverers, the programme was first introduced into pre-school groups in September 1999

Primary School Age

TOP Play Introduces core skills and fun sport to 4 to 9 year olds through the provision of training, child friendly equipment and resource cards.

BT TOP Sport Introduces specific sports to 7 to 11 year olds through the provision of training, child friendly equipment and resource cards.

Also available in the 7 to 11 age range are TOP Athletics, TOP Gymnastics, Fit for TOPs and TOP Outdoors.

The launch of TOP Play and BT TOP Sport in Northern Ireland took place in June 1998. Thanks to a grant of 357,000 from the Northern Ireland Sports Council's Lottery Sports Fund, District Councils will manage the delivery of the programmes to out-of-school clubs and community groups.

Primary and Secondary School Age

SportSability An inclusive games programme for disabled and non-disabled young people aged 4 to 18 years which incorporates the provision of training, child friendly equipment and resource cards.

Secondary School Age

Top Link Provides training for secondary school pupils (Key Stage 4 and post 16) to enable them to run sports festivals for primary schools in their area.

Northern Ireland took part for the first time in 1999 and three students from La Salle Boys' School, Belfast attended a residential Leadership Camp at Loughborough University in April 1999.


Contact: Paul Whitten
Tel: 028 90 383865
Fax:028 90 383871

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