Age & Opportunity announces grants for 17 Longford groups to promote physical activity in older people

Longford Leader reporter

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The Age & Opportunity Active National Grant Scheme is celebrating a momentous allocation of funding for sport and physical activity in older age-groups.

The grants scheme, a combined initiative from Age & Opportunity and Sport Ireland, will distribute €5,840 across 17 groups in Longford.  

The successful Longford groups are:

Ballinamuck ICA €320, Club Fifty Five €420, Coolamber ICA €320, Drumlish Community Association €340, Ennybegs ICA €320, Granard Active Age €380, Granard ICA €320, Hillside Club ARA €360, Kenagh ICA €320, Longford Bowling Club €420, Longford COPD Support Group €320, Longford Town ICA €320, Newtowncashel ICA €320, Newtownforbes ICA €320, Newtownforbes Senior Citizens Club ARA €360, North Longford Men's Group €340, The Harry Farrell Over 55's Badminton Club €340.

Senator Micheál Carrigy welcomed the allocation for the 17 groups around Longford. 

He commented, "These grants were awarded to clubs in the promotion of physical activity in older people. The grant will continue to provide an accessible and enjoyable means for older people in communities to reap the health rewards from doing physical activity.  

"This year has been extremely challenging. Covid-19 has turned the world upside down and we’ve had to find new and creative ways to keep active. The Grant Scheme demonstrates the wide scope and ambition of older people across Ireland where keeping healthy and active is concerned. Tennis, cycling, rowing, seated boxing, dancing, aqua aerobics, hoola hoop classes, online yoga and dancing, and Nordic walking are just some of the activities the grant will fund.”

Nationwide 712 groups will receive grants totalling nearly €265,000.

The Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media, Catherine Martin TD, said: “The Age & Opportunity Active National Grant Scheme continues to act as a valuable resource in getting older people active. This investment will help support and empower thousands of groups of older people to get more active. Age & Opportunity are doing a wonderful job of providing opportunities for older people to enjoy all the benefits that participation in physical activity can bring.”

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.

Minister of State for Sport and the Gaeltacht Jack Chambers TD commented: “We’re celebrating the 20th year of funding the Age & Opportunity Active National Grant Scheme. This year has been extremely challenging. COVID-19 has turned the world upside down and we’ve had to find new and creative ways to keep active.

 “The grant will continue to provide an accessible and enjoyable means for older people in communities nationwide to reap the health rewards from doing physical activity. I am delighted to see that nearly €265,000 has been allocated by Sport Ireland to the Age & Opportunity Active National Grant Scheme to 712 groups this year. Age & Opportunity is doing a wonderful job of providing opportunities for older people to enjoy all the benefits that participation and activity can bring.”

Speaking about the grant, John Treacy, Chief Executive of Sport Ireland, said that Age & Opportunity’s Active programme 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 Irish 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.

“We are delighted to award funding to 712 groups all around Ireland this year as part of the Age & Opportunity Active National Grant Scheme. Keeping physically active is more important than ever given the circumstances we’ve found ourselves in throughout 2020. The grant continues to act as a valuable resource in getting more older people more active and we are thrilled to share this good news with everyone today.”

Karen Horgan, CEO of Age & Opportunity, said today’s grant funding is helping us create an Ireland where more older people are more active and more connected and the allocation of these grants ensures clubs and groups from all walks of life can benefit from the scheme:

“We are delighted to continue our 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 delighted that this year 255 successful applications were from designated disadvantaged areas. There were also 80 groups who applied and received a grant for the first time.”

Of the successful funding allocations, 146 grants were awarded to Active Retirement Associations, 202 grants were awarded to Irish Countrywomen’s Associations and 20 applications were made by Local Sports Partnerships.

The Grant Scheme demonstrates the wide scope and ambition of older people across Ireland where keeping healthy and active is concerned.

Tennis, cycling, rowing, seated boxing, dancing, aqua aerobics, hoola hoop classes, on line yoga and dancing and Nordic walking are just some of the activities the grant will fund.

The Grant Scheme is part of Age & Opportunity’s Active programme, funded by Sport Ireland, and delivered nationwide with the support of Local Sports Partnerships and the HSE.