At the Age & Opportunity Grants Launch were (from left): John Treacy Sport Ireland, Mary O'Brien, Martin Brennan, Sue Guildea of Age & Opportunity. Photo: Tommy Clancy.
The ‘Go for Life’ National Grant Scheme, a combined initiative from Age & Opportunity and Sport Ireland, has announced funding of €5,835 across 19 groups in Louth for sporting activities in older age-groups. Nationwide some 1,000 groups will receive grants totalling almost €300,000.
Today’s allocation brings the total grants allocated over the last 18 years to over 15,000 and the total fund allocated to date is over €6 million.
The National Grant Scheme provides an accessible and enjoyable means for older people in communities nationwide to reap the health rewards from doing physical activity.
Brendan Griffin, Minister of State with responsibility for Sport, said: “I am delighted to see that almost €300,000 has been allocated by Sport Ireland to the Go for Life grants to over one thousand groups this year.
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“This means that 33,000 older people will take part in sport and physical activity as a direct result of this grant scheme. Over the last eighteen years the National Grant Scheme funding has supported and empowered thousands of groups of older people to get more active more often and the record number of applications this year shows the continued importance of the scheme for groups throughout the country. Go for Life is doing a wonderful job of providing opportunities for older people to enjoy all the benefits that participation can bring”
Speaking at the launch, John Treacy, Chief Executive of Sport Ireland, said the ‘Go for Life’ initiative continues to act as a valuable resource in getting more older people active.
“Sport Ireland’s vision is that sport contributes to enhancing the quality of life and that people of all ages are encouraged and valued in sport. To help us achieve this we work with Age & Opportunity to deliver opportunities and grants to as many clubs and groups as possible.
“This year we received the highest number of applications in the history of the grant allocation, which shows the growing enthusiasm and appetite for physical activity in older age-groups.”
The number of people who took part in activities funded by the 2018 grant scheme is over 33,000. The number of grants allocated exceeds 1000 for the seventh time and the percentage of successful applicants is 88%.
Karen Smyth, CEO of Age & Opportunity, said the grant funding is helping us create an Ireland where all older people are more active and more connected and the allocation of grants ensured clubs and groups from all walks of life could benefit from the scheme:
“We are delighted to work in partnership with Sport Ireland. Age & Opportunity works to ensure equality of participation for all older people, irrespective of background, culture, identity, setting or location.
“We are also delighted that this year 364 successful applications were from designated disadvantaged areas, the largest figure in the grants history. There were also over 150 groups who applied and received a grant for the first time”.
“Of the groups who received grants last year 96% reported that they felt more active as a result of the funding, and 75% reported that they felt very much more connected.” she said.
The successful Louth groups are:
Alzheimer Society of Ireland, Drogheda Day Care Centre
Tennis, cycling, rowing, seated boxing, dancing, aqua aerobics and handball are just some of the activities the grant will fund.