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ABC Sports Forum

The Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon Sports Forum are a voluntary body that provide a voice for local sport. They work closely with Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council and in particular the Sports Development Department to further aid the development of sport in the Borough. They do this through the delivery of the following key areas:

  1. Affiliation
  2. Grant Aid
  3. Coach Education Programme
  4. Sports Awards
  5. Sport Directory
  6. E-Zines
  7. Bursaries

Affiliation to the ABC Sports Forum includes many benefits such as access to 4 Club Development Grants including – National Governing Body Quality Accreditation/Reaccreditation Grant; Volunteer Development Grant; Grant Aid for Coaches & Umpires/Referees; and a Representative Sporting Teams Grant.

Eligible individuals can also apply for a Talented Athlete Grant and a Leisure Access Card.

Affiliated members will also receive subsidised places on the Coach Education & Club Development Programme and receive regular Sports Development ezine which will include information on available grants, programmes and events including the annual Junior and Senior Sports Awards.

Members will also have the opportunity to be elected to represent their sport on the ABC Sports Forum at the Annual General Meeting. Clubs can also have their details published on the Council’s Sports Directory page on the website.

Affiliation for the 2024/25 is £30 for Clubs and £20 for Individuals.  Members wishing to affiliate must be affiliated to the Sport NI, Sport Ireland or UK Sport recognised Governing Body. Clubs and Individuals must reside in the Borough. Clubs must submit a copy of their club constitution as part of their affiliation to the Sports Forum.

Affiliation Forms

For more information relating to Affiliation, please contact:

ABC Sports Forum Information Evening

Join the ABC Sports Forum for an information evening, Wednesday 29 May, 7:30pm-9pm at Gilford Community Centre. This is an excellent opportunity for sports club representatives to find out about the benefits associated with being an affiliated member of the forum. Topics covered include: Club Development Grants, Talented Athlete Grants, Coach Education and Club Development Programme, Junior & Senior Sports Awards and much more.

Click here to register or for more information please contact Sarah Aiken

The purpose of the sports grant aid scheme is to provide financial support to help athletes, coaches and sports clubs from the Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council area to attain their full potential. To be eligible, clubs or individuals are required to affiliate to the Armagh, Banbridge & Craigavon Sports Forum.

There are seven award schemes available:

Club Development Grants
Club Development Grants focus on increasing the quality of provision by local sports clubs and improving their operation. The elements are:

  • National Governing Body (NGB) Quality Accreditation/Reaccreditation Grant and Advancement Grant
  • Volunteer Development Grant
  • Grant Aid for Coaches & Umpires/Referees
  • Representative Sporting Teams

Individual Grants
In recognition of the commitment needed to participate at an elite level in sport, the Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon Sports Forum have grants to assist amateur athletes who reside in the Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council area with inherent costs in training, competing and accessing training facilities (Leisure Access Card). The two elements are:

  • Talented Athlete Grant
  • Leisure Access Card

Guidance Notes
Please ensure that you read the guidance notes below for both Club Development and Individual Grants Schemes.

Other Financial Assistance available:
Sports clubs are also eligible to apply under the following Armagh City, Banbridge & Craigavon Borough Council Grant Programmes:

  • Seeding Grants
  • Community Development Grants
  • Capital
  • Community Events Fund
  • Good Relations Grants

For further information, please visit:

Our Coach Education Programme provides opportunities for sports coaches, volunteers and administrators to further develop their knowledge and skills, relevant to these roles, in enjoyable and engaging environments.

The programme for 2023/24 takes a blended approach to delivery with a mixture of online workshop and webinars as well as practical workshops.

The programme offers a mixture of minimum operating standards that are required for good club governance, and club and coach development workshops to support coaches in the day-to-day running of their club sessions, which are practical in nature, relating to achieving optimal performance.

To download a copy of the programme along with details of each course, please click HERE

Places will be allocated on a first come first served basis, however priority will be given to coaches and clubs within the Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council area.

Only 3 spaces per club can be registered to ensure as many clubs as possible avail of the opportunity to take part. Should demand be high, a subsequent course will be organised.

All courses have a minimum number and therefore are subject to cancellation should they not be met.

Please note we require 48 hours notice of any cancellation. Failure to adhere to this policy will result in your club being charged at the full non-affiliated rate. Consideration will be given to participants under exceptional circumstances who cannot attend and inform us of these reasons.

Affiliated clubs of the Armagh Banbridge and Craigavon Sports Forum can avail of free courses as part of their affiliation. For details of this voucher code please contact Sport Development.

For more information relating to any of the workshops, please contact Laura O’Hagan at  

Course:           Autism in Sport Training (Face-to-Face)

Content:         The Autism and Sports Coaching Couse is a 3 hour course designed to give people a basic understanding of Autism and the potential challenges for inclusion in sport. Participants will learn through practical examples, way to include people with Autism in their sessions and look at potential strategies and support for keeping people with Autism engaged in sport and active recreation.

Course:            Designated Safeguarding Officer (Online)

Content:         This workshop aims to support those undertaking the role of Designated Safeguarding Children’s Officer in sports clubs including creating an awareness of key legislation and good practice, how to respond in a range of situations of concern and how to develop the standards of safeguarding within a club environment. Attendees must have attended ‘Safeguarding Children and Young People in Sport’ prior to attending this workshop and must be over 18 years of age.

Course:           Growing Your Club (Face-to-Face)

Content:         People are the success of any club. Whether helping run the club, taking part in the sport’s activities or any number of other tasks, having the right people in place generally means a healthier and happier club.

 Course:             Emergency First Aid for Sport (Face-to-Face)

Content:          This 6 hour workshop will cover elements of First Aid applicable to anyone who is responsible for coaching/supervising a team or individuals. A 3 year certificate of competency will be issued following successful assessment.  Attendance at both sessions is compulsory.

Part 1: Face-to-face 3 hr theory session

Part 2: Face-to-face 3hr practical session

Course:           Generating Club Income (Face-to-Face)

Content:         Having a realistic and clear understanding of the likely sustainable income your club can generate is a vital ingredient of good financial management. A great way of ensuring your income is sustainable is to get it from a variety of sources including membership fees; sponsorship; fundraising; commercial partnerships; and grant funding.

Course:           Safeguarding Children & Young People in Sport (Online)

Content:         This workshop aims to raise awareness of Child Protection issues in sport and introduces participants to the Code of Ethics and Good Practice for Children’s Sport. This workshop is important for all adults involved in children’s sport, but is particularly recommended for Coaches, Leaders, Administrators and Officials. The workshop which has been adapted for online learning is now delivered in two parts.

Part 1: Mandatory pre-learning that consists of a 25 minute video which is required to be undertaken in advance of the online workshop.

Part 2: Online virtual workshop via Zoom.

Course:            Safeguarding Children and Young People in Sport (Face to Face)

Content:         This workshop aims to raise awareness of child safeguarding issues in sport and introduces participants to what is good practice for children’s sport and how to report any concern. This workshop is important for all adults involved in children’s sport, but is essential for Coaches, Leaders, Administrators, and Officials.

Part 1: Mandatory pre-learning that consists of a 25 minute video which is required to be undertaken in advance of the online workshop.

Part 2: A tutor led face-to-face workshop.

The Armagh, Banbridge & Craigavon Sports Forum in association with Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council host both the annual Junior and Senior Sports Awards. Both events bring together athletes, teams, coaches, clubs and volunteers, recognising and rewarding their achievements and celebrating commitment and excellence in service, participation and performance.

Armagh Banbridge and Craigavon Junior Sports Awards 2024 headlined sponsored by Manfreight Limited

Nominations for the Junior Sports Awards 2024 are now open. Taking place on Friday 27 September at Craigavon Civic and Conference Centre, this prestigious sporting event will celebrate success, commitment and dedication from our athletes and sports representatives within our Borough.

So, if you know an individual or a team that has excelled in their sport, make sure you nominate by clicking below and have their achievements recognised.

Please download the JSA 2024 Guidance Notes below for further information on the selection criteria and award categories before nominating.

Closing date is Friday 5th July at 5pm

For further information please contact Sarah Aiken, Sports Development Assistant Manager at

Armagh Banbridge and Craigavon Senior Sports Awards 2024

There was an overwhelming sense of pride at the ABC Senior Sports Awards on Wednesday 27 March when 150 guests gathered at Craigavon Civic Centre to honour the A-list of the local sporting community and celebrate their impressive achievements over the past year.

The awards celebrate the individuals, teams and clubs who have represented Northern Ireland, Ulster and Ireland at European and World competitions, as well as the coaches and volunteers who have helped them achieve sporting success at the highest level.

The wealth of sporting talent in the borough was once again front and centre on the night with some 49 shortlisted nominees vying for an award across 7 categories.


The coveted Sportswoman of the Year Award went to Team Great Britain Archer Kathryn Morton from Ballyvally Archers who won two gold medals and a bronze at the European U21 Championships.

World Championships double sculls bronze medallist Philip Doyle scooped the Sportsman of the Year Award. As a result, the boat has qualified for the Paris 2024 Olympics.

Scott Cromie from Craigavon Boccia Club who won a silver medal at the Irish Championships and finished in 4th place at the UK Boccia Championships won the Sports Person with a Disability Award.

Lurgan Coarse Angling Club Senior Team were winners of the Senior Team of the Year after their sterling display of consistency seen them crowned World Club Feeder Champions.

The Club of the Year Award went to hugely successful Clann Eireann who had a season of trophy success across multiple age groups in Gaelic Football, Netball and Handball.

Head coach of Banbridge Hockey Club Men’s 1st XI team, Scott McCandless won the Senior Coach of the Year Award. He was instrumental in helping the team dominate in Ireland and claim three pieces of silverware including the All-Ireland Hockey League title, the Champions Trophy and the Irish Senior Cup.

The Chairman’s Award went to St Mary’s GAC, Aghagallon who launched their ‘All Star’ inclusive GAA initiative providing a positive experience for those with additional needs – the first of its kind in the borough.

Volunteer Awards were presented to Alan Nelson (Waringstown Cricket Club), Martin Duffy (Banbridge Cycling Club), Danielle Marshall (Naomh Pol CLG), Mildred Hodgett (Banbridge Golf Club), Catherine Nelson (Sean Treacy’s Hurling Club), Ann Robinson (Banbridge & Rathfriland Karate Club), Paula Stewart (Lurgan Rugby Football & Cricket Club), and Amy Wethers (Craigavon Aztecs Volleyball Club).

Welcome to the Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Borough Council Directory of Sport. Here you will find a list of affiliated sports clubs to the Armagh Banbridge and Craigavon Sports Forum offering a range of sporting and physical activity opportunities across the area.

View ABC Directory of Sport >>

The Sport Development E-Zine contains all the latest information about sports development programmes, funding grants, coach education and club development workshops and any other information that may be of interest to sports clubs.

Please see below to access our previous Sports Development E-zines.

Previous Issues

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The Sports Bursary Scheme was introduced in November 2018 to facilitate the further development of aspiring athletes who have the ability and potential to bring credit to the Borough with success at Provincial level or higher.

Applications should be from athletes who have the potential to compete and achieve success at a very high level within their sport.

For more information please contact Sarah Aiken, Sports Development Assistant Manager at

The Sports Bursary Scheme is now closed