Minister for Transport, Tourism, and Sport Leo Varadkar said: "We have to commend the attention the Irish Sports Council gives to child protection. With every NGB having a children's officer we are making big steps in this regard and we can now say that sport has an excellent model for child protection. We are putting a greater emphasis on sport and education and it will be incorporated into the new version of the junior cert. It is important that those participating in sport are safe."
Kieran Mulvey, Chairman of the Irish Sports Council, said; "We are delighted to have An Taoiseach here, along with Minister Varadkar and Minister Fitzgerald. It exemplifies the importance of the topics being discussed today and the high priority that is attributed to child protection and welfare by this Government. This is very much in line with the huge importance that the Irish Sports Council puts in ensuring every child feels safe and happy participating in sport and physical activity across the county".
Following the opening of the Information Day, Sinéad Kearney, a practising solicitor, gave an overview of the impact of the upcoming legislation (Children First & Garda Vetting Bureau) on sport at the Information Day.
The key note address was given by Karen Leach who was abused by swimming coach Derry O'Rourke. Karen told her story, giving an insight into the lessons that can be learnt from her experience and received a standing ovation for her emotional account of what she had overcome.
Sinead Kearney (Wallance and Byrne Solicitors) then presented on pending legilsation focusing on the National Vetting Bureau Bill, Withholding Informaiton Act and the Head's of Children's First Bill.
There were three workshops on the topics of Bullying (delivered by Sticks & Stones drama group), Consulting with Young People (Kate Hills, National Children's Officer, Swim Ireland) and Disciplinary Procedures (Paul Stephenson, Child Protection Officer for Sport, NSPCC NI).
The afternoon session the focused on Social Media with Ian Power from SpunOut giving tips on the safe use of social media for children while Detective Sergeant Michael Lynch of the Gardai presenting on social media and child protection.
Over a hundred representatives from the National Governing Bodies of Sport were in attendance at the Information Day including the NGB National Children's Officers and Code of Ethics tutors along with the Local Sports Partnerships and others involved in sports participation across the country.