Minister Ring Announces €221,430 Investment

Posted in Connect on March 24, 2015.

Minister Ring Announces €221,430 Investment for Mayo Sports Partnership

Minister of State for Sport, Michael Ring T.D., has just announced an investment package of over €5.1m from the Irish Sports Council to support the National Network of Local Sports Partnerships (LSPs). Hosted by Mayo Sports Partnership at the superbly appointed Claremorris Tennis Club the event was attended by TDs, local councillors, agency representatives, community and sports clubs.

€5,047,431 million will be allocated to thirty LSPs for core, general programme and disability funding. This investment also includes HSE funding of €60,240 for the Get Ireland Active programme and €14,080 for the continued roll out of the Be Active After Schools Activity Programme. The Council will also allocate €115,000 to support the Women in Sport programme. Through the announcement Mayo Sports Partnership has been allocated a total of €221,430 including Women in Sport funding of €3,650.

The key aims of the LSPs are to increase levels of local participation in sport especially amongst specific target groups such as older people, girls & women, people with disabilities, unemployed people, and those who live in identified disadvantaged communities. To ensure that people with disabilities are provided with the opportunity to participate in sport and physical activity, 19 LSPs will be supported with Sports Inclusion Disability Officers including Ray Mc Namara from Mayo Sports Partnership.

Minister of State for Tourism and Sport Michael Ring TD commented “I believe it is extremely important that people are encouraged and given opportunities to participate in sport and physical activity. Participation will lead to a healthier society and an overall improved quality of life. The Government funding announced today will allow the LSP network to continue to provide sporting opportunities for people in local communities throughout Ireland.”

In 2014 Mayo Sports Partnership delivered 78 local programmes providing participation opportunities for 10,632 people, plus another 10 Women in Sport initiatives for 4259 women.

2015 is the 10th Anniversary of the Irish Sports Council’s Women in Sport programme. The programme, which aims to raise the overall physical activity levels among women, has been a key driver in closing the gender gap as women’s participation has grown from 39% (ISM,2011) to 42.7% (ISM,2013). Today’s investment will continue to support Women in Sport programmes including ‘Western People West of Ireland Womens Mini Marathon’ from Mayo Sports Partnership. The programme is designed to tap into the increasing popularity of running and walking for women in Ireland today. Last year over 2,500 women participated in the event.

Kieran Mulvey, Chairperson of the Irish Sports Council commented: “As part of the Fitzpatrick Associates Review, the Local Sports Partnerships were set a target of generating at least 50% of their income from other sources. Each year that target has been met and surpassed. The Council warmly welcomes the support and contributions given to the Local Sports Partnership network by statutory, community and voluntary groups across the country”.

For the fifth year running in 2015, The Irish Sports Council, Mayo Sports Partnership teamed up once again with RTÉ’s Operation Transformation. This year over 1,000 people participated in the Mayo walks, which took place in Ballina, Belmullet, Castlebar, Claremorris and Westport. Over 500 participants took part in the Operation Transformation 5k Fun Runs which took place in 4 venues in conjunction with the Mayo Sports Partnership, Ballina /Castlebar/ Westport parkruns and the Erris Community Health Forum.

Brendan Mulroy, Chairperson of Mayo Sports Partnership commented: “The success of the Sports Partnership Network has been the collaboration of agencies, communities and sports clubs / groups in providing participation opportunities for all. Here in Mayo much credit for the fantastic development of sport must go towards the board and staff of Mayo Sports Partnership . “.

The occasion also marked Mayo Sports Partnerships 10th Anniversary since the launch of the umbrella body on the 10th March 2005 in the Westport Leisure Park. Since then it has delivered 450 programmes targeting 50,722 people from all sectors of the population in Mayo plus 46 Women in Sport initiatives for 28,000 Women. Indeed recent 2013 Irish Sports Monitor Research, conducted by the Irish Sports Council & Ipsos MRBI, found that Mayo and Sligo were the only 2 counties in the country where more women 49% were participating in sport than men 47%. Other initiatives which have helped to drive participation locally in Mayo have included the hugely successful Men on the Move initiative targeting men aged 35 plus, parkruns in Ballina/Castlebar/Westport, Couch to 5K, Walking & Cycling initiatives and the Goal to Work sports coach training programme for jobseekers.

Speaking at the announcement John Treacy, Chief Executive of the Irish Sports Council commented; “The Council 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. This is a fundamental principle of the Local Sports Partnerships which aim to remove any barrier that prevents participation in sport”.

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