Sinn Féin MLA and Junior Minister Jennifer McCann has praised the role of sport in building peace and reconciliation.
Speaking at a Youth Civic Engagement and Leadership Through Sport event in Croke Park, the West Belfast MLA said;
"The positive contribution that sport has played, in bringing people together, particularly our young people cannot be over stated.
"Sport unites people under a common purpose and helps develop positive relationships based on mutual respect and teamwork.
"Our young people through the medium of sport have a huge role to play in moving our society from conflict and division to one where equality of opportunity exists for everyone.
"It is important we break down the barriers of intolerance, hatred and sectarianism.
"It is only by working together and giving all our young people a sense of connecting with other and a sense of belonging to society that we will achieve this."