The Fianna Fáil election candidate in Drogheda Rural, Declan Power, says he is no stranger to promoting sport and physical activity.
For over 20 years he worked for the GAA in Coaching and Games Development and has a proven track record of increasing participation rates, improving skill levels and increasing voluntary capacity through coach education and training.
“I’ve always believed when you introduce sports and physical activity to young children, you are creating a platform for better and healthier lifestyle in addition to developing life - long skills of teamwork and leadership for their future career pathway” he says.
He also believes that Louth Co. Council should ” …invest more to increase participation in sport and physical activity, and to ensure that local resources are used to best effect and at little or no cost which is an issue in some Drogheda areas of economic and social disadvantage”.
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Power cites the Lourdes Athletic track as an example of where local council resources are under-used during public hours.
“We have this fantastic facility on our door step where people can walk or run around the track but nobody is using it during the designated public hours of 10am to 2pm or 5pm to 7pm” he said.
“I started using it myself last October. It was fully flood lit and most of the time I was using it on my own!
“With a non-member fee of only €2 maybe the Council should consider selecting days where there is no fee and encourage more families to use the facilities which is adjacent to some of Drogheda’s biggest housing estates like Moneymore.”
“In Drogheda we have very few playgrounds and developed green areas for parents to take their children to play and the ones that we do have are congested and are hampered by the lack of parking, especially on the Rathmullen road”.
“Introducing sport and physical activity to children, not only has the health benefits but can help develop the well-rounded character of a person, develop self-confidence and self-esteem and also can reduce the risk of anti - social behaviour which is ever increasing in our communities”.
“If elected on May 24th I aim to promote sport, health, fitness and well-being as a way of improving the lives of people in Drogheda Urban and Drogheda Rural areas especially amongst specific target groups such as our children, older people, people with disabilities, unemployed people, and those who live in identified disadvantaged communities. Improving physical health also improves mental health and reduces the risk of stress and depression” he said.
“With my background in the sports industry, I aim to work closely with all sports clubs in an effort to create development plans that will have a sustainable structure for long-term future”.