€317,430 to support sport and physical activities for older adults has been announced by Age & Opportunity and Sport Ireland through the Active National Grant.
The Grant Scheme is a combined initiative from Age & Opportunity and Sport Ireland. This year it is being provided to 909 organisations. These range from active retirement groups to sports clubs and nursing and day care centres.
“[The] funding announcement is very welcome news,” said Minister of State with special responsibility for Sport and Physical Education, Thomas Byrne.
“The Age & Opportunity Active National Grant Scheme has already had a positive impact on communities across Ireland and has contributed towards improving the opportunities for older people to get involved in sports and physical activity.”
“As a Government, we want to see older people helped to be more active and this year’s funding will support sports clubs, Irish Countrywomen’s Association Guilds, and Active Retirement Associations in meeting that goal.”
By financially supporting organisations to buy equipment and host courses specifically designed for older people, the grant is intended to help older people reap the health benefits of being active.
Examples include a ‘Bat and Chat’ table tennis programme for older people in Miltown, Co Westmeath; a ‘Learn to Row’ camp with Tribesmen Rowers Club, which has many older rowers, in Galway; and a Boxercise course organised by Castleblayney Boxing Club, Co Monaghan.
“We are delighted to continue our support of the Age & Opportunity National Grant Scheme which continues to be an important asset to local communities,” said Sport Ireland CEO Dr. Una May.
“By assisting with funding, we play a small part in providing better opportunities in our communities for our older generation to improve their physical and mental health through taking part in physical activity. The ongoing work has been a great success to date.”
“Age & Opportunity is doing a wonderful job and we are delighted to show our support once again. I also want to acknowledge our own national network of Local Sports Partnerships who together do wonderful work in communities across the country.”
Of the funding allocations, grants were awarded to 18 Sports Partnerships, 148 sports clubs, 190 Irish Countrywomen’s Association Guilds, 199 Active Retirement Associations, 26 Men’s sheds and 6 Women’s sheds.
Every year approximately 30,000 older people take part in physical activity funded by the Grant Scheme. Activities funded include archery, rowing, dancing, cycling, clay pigeon shooting, kayaking, GAA, mountain biking, table tennis, tai chi, walking and weight-lifting.