Deputy Peter Burke, Fine Gael TD for Longford/Westmeath, has this week urged any Longford sports organisations or clubs who have not yet registered for Sports Capital Grants to do so.
"Sports Capital Grants provide a great source of investment and support for local sports organisations throughout the country, however big or small," Deputy Burke said.
"I tabled a Parliamentary Question in the Dáil recently and Minister for Sport Patrick O'Donovan has informed me that he is hopeful that the grant application process will begin in January. However, it is possible to register basic details now so that when the system opens, you will receive an email confirming the commencement of the programme and inviting you to make your application.
"Budget 2017 saw the reintroduction of the Sports Capital Programme, which will be worth over €52 million annually. The grant helps out registered clubs in buying sports equipment, refurbishing existing facilities and building new sports facilities, including all weather pitches, providing flood lighting or dressing room facilities.
"24 clubs and organisations in Longford benefited from the grants last year and I would like to see even more applying successfully this year.
"I would urge all local sports groups who feel that they could benefit in any way to register at www.sportscapitalprogramme.ie. There is a section in relation to a tax number-if your organisation does not have one of these then a simple form can be sent to revenue to obtain this," Deputy Burke explained. "If any group needs help with the registration process, or completing the form come January, they can call my office on 044 9385044 or make an appointment to attend any of my clinics which are run weekly across Westmeath and Longford.
"There are also step-by-step guides available on the website, as well as YouTube videos," Deputy Burke continued, concluding; "At a time when physical exercise is becoming less popular and obesity is rising, the Government is pushing activity and sports, which aid not just people's health but their social lives and community spirit across the country.
"I am determined to increase the number of clubs and teams benefiting from this money in the constituency as I have seen first hand how it aids communities and teams in the region."