Offaly one of the lowest funded counties in €5.9m sport investment

Justin Kelly

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Justin Kelly

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justin.kelly@iconicnews.ie

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Offaly is one of the lowest funded counties following an announcement of a €5.9m investment scheme.

Minister of State for Tourism and Sport, Patrick O’Donovan TD, today announced the investment package of over €5.9m from Sport Ireland to support the National Network of Local Sports Partnerships (LSPs).

Offaly received a total of €144,056, comprising of a €143,056 core amount, and a €1,000 investment earmarked for women's sport activities in the county. Just two counties, Wexford and Roscommon, received a smaller amount in the multi-million Euro announcement. 

The total of €5,922,798 will be allocated to support the core work of the 29 LSPs; including the delivery of National Programmes, Education & Training initiatives, Strategic Development, Community Sports Development Officers, the Sports Inclusion Disability programme, Women in Sport Programmes and general participation programmes.

Speaking at the announcement in Limerick today, Minister O’Donovan said: “The vital work of the Local Sports Partnership Network in increasing participation, particularly among those sectors of society that are underrepresented in sport, makes a substantial contribution to the health and welfare of individuals, communities and the nation. The significant Government investment announced today will allow the Partnerships to continue to provide many sporting opportunities for people in local communities right across Ireland.”

The key aims of the LSPs are to increase levels of participation in sport especially amongst specific target groups such as older people, girls and women, people with disabilities, unemployed people, and those who live in identified disadvantaged communities.

Chairman of Sport Ireland, Kieran Mulvey, said: “Sport Ireland has always placed a particular emphasis on ensuring sport is progressive and attracts participants from every corner of Ireland, from every age group and from all social backgrounds. One of the fundamental principles of the Local Sports Partnerships is to remove any barrier that prevents participation in sport and today’s investment will support the LSPs in the continued roll-out of programmes and initiatives which will get more people active on a regular basis.”

Throughout 2016, 291,947 people participated in 861 participation programmes delivered locally by LSPs, with 18,500 participants taking part in the Operation Transformation 5k Fun Runs and Walks and 15,500 cyclists taking part in the An Post Cycle Series.

2016 also saw 10,404 female participants taking part in 70 local Women in Sport programmes. This year €115,000 will be invested in LSPs through the Women in Sport Programme, which aims to raise the overall physical activity levels among women.

Speaking at today’s announcement John Treacy, Chief Executive of Sport Ireland, commented: “The funding announced today marks a 7% increase in Sport Ireland’s investment in the Local Sports Partnership Network. Through this investment Sport Ireland will continue its work to increase participation across the country through range of programmes and initiatives implemented by the Local Sports Partnerships. Sport Ireland warmly welcomes the support and contributions given to the Local Sports Partnership Network by statutory, community and voluntary groups right across the country.”

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