Minister of State for Tourism and Sport, Mr Patrick O’Donovan TD and Minister of State for Regional Economic Development, Mr Michael Ring TD today announced an investment package of almost €1.5 million in Dormant Accounts Funding for Sport.

The investment will be administered by Sport Ireland and will aim to engage with communities across the country, targeting people with disabilities, people who are educationally, economically or socially disadvantaged.

Minister O’Donovan said “I am delighted to be able to announce almost €1.5 million funding for sports measures received through the Dormant Accounts Fund this year. This funding will be granted in addition to my Department’s funding of €47.3 million to Sport Ireland in 2016. Sport is vital for the growth of community and social cohesiveness in disadvantaged areas, and investment in the young people in these areas has long-term benefits both for their health and for their engagement in society. My Department is working together with Sport Ireland and the Local Sports Partnerships to ensure that the programme of initiatives resulting from this funding is inclusive, accessible and regionally balanced.”

Minister Ring said “I am well aware of the impact that sports initiatives can have in both urban and rural communities, and so I am very happy to give my approval to this significant investment package. The investment not only means that successful programmes implemented by Sport Ireland and the Local Sports Partnerships in 2015 can be continued, it also allows for new initiatives and investment in disadvantaged communities. The programmes which will be implemented as a result of this funding will contribute significantly to the health and well-being of individuals and communities at a local level around the country.”

Kieran Mulvey, Chairman of Sport Ireland said  “The aim of the Community Sport and Physical Activity Hubs is to bring local people together and provide a home for local clubs and sports organisations. Supported by Sport Ireland’s network of Local Sports Partnerships, these hubs will provide information, support and advice on a wide range of sports and physical activities and make it easier for people to get involved and engage in a more active and healthier lifestyle”.

Highlighting the National Sports Education and Training Hub, John Treacy, Chief Executive of Sport Ireland commented “In line with the Government’s ‘Pathways to Work’ Policy Sport Ireland is seeking to empower individuals at local and national level by providing a clear education pathway for those interested in working in sports development. In particular Sport Ireland envisages an activation of jobseekers to promote greater levels of physical activity in disadvantaged areas”.

Programmes supported under the investment include Community Sports and Physical Activity Hubs, which provide information, support and advice on a wide range of sports and physical activities which make it easier for people in disadvantaged areas to get involved and engage in a more active and healthier lifestyle; Community Coaching Programmes; Youth Leadership Programmes and Volunteer Support Programmes.

Also supported is the CARA Centre aiming to further the development and delivery of specialised training courses. This will make a significant impact, enhancing active and healthy lifestyles for people with disabilities.