10,000 people participated in Laois Sports Partnership initiatives last year

Greg Mulhall

Reporter:

Greg Mulhall

Email:

greg.mulhall@leinsterexpress.ie

Almost 10,000 people participated in Laois Sports Partnership programmes last year

Laois Sports Partnership is one of 29 Local Sports Partnerships (LSPs) featured in the Annual Report published by Sport Ireland today.  

The report outlines the work of the LSP network across the country and highlights innovative programmes and initiatives that are operated locally.

Laois Sports Partnership works with trusted professionals and valued volunteers to engage with communities across Laois to deliver inclusive, impactful and sustainable programmes and initiatives. These opportunities are tailored to local needs and aim to get people more physically active, involved in sport and improve the mental and physical health of the county.  

Nationwide over €22 million was invested in the network of Local Sports Partnerships by Sport Ireland, Local Authorities and partner organisations in 2019 with over half a million people across communities in Ireland taking part in LSP sport and physical activity opportunities.

In Laois in 2019, Laois Sports Partnership engaged 15,744 people in 136 programmes and delivered 35 training courses to 655 people, seven of those courses relating to their Sports Inclusion Disability Programme with a total of 217 people receiving training in Disability Inclusion.

A total of €619,579 was invested in Laois Sports Partnership in 2019. This figure includes benefit-in-kind funding of
€140,440 from partners. Funding from Sport Ireland accounts for 40% of the total LSP funding in 2019, 17% from
Dormant Accounts with the remaining 43% coming from other sources. 

Breakdown:

  • Monetary Funding (Locally & Nationally Leveraged) €122,559 - 20% of total
  • Benefit In Kind (Locally Sourced) €140,440 - 23% of total
  • Sport Ireland Core/Programme €241,410 - 39% of total
  • Sport Ireland Women in Sport Grant €8,400 - 1 % of total
  • Sport Ireland Dormant Accounts Funding €106,770 - 17% of total

Caroline Myers, Manager of Laois Sports Partnership, said, “We are delighted to report that interagency and stakeholder collaboration is a major factor in the successful delivery of many participation opportunities for all. This report gives a snapshot of these interventions and of trends in modern recreational sport / physical activity. 

“With additional support of Dormant Accounts, Department of Justice Integration and Disability Funding as well as Healthy Ireland Funding, Laois Sports Partnership has been able to increase the provision of services to harder to reach communities; working to remove barriers to participation and continuing to showcase the positive impact that sport can have on people’s lives. 

“The Partnership has made significant advances and has particularly increased the number of locally delivered programmes through our SVT Community Sports Hub and Rathdowney Erill Activity Hub and general programmes such as Rock for All, Waterways for Health and BeActive Night Riverdance.

Target groups focused on during 2019 included children and young people, disadvantaged communities, men 16-40, integration initiatives, lifestyle intervention programmes, older adults and programmes for people with a disability, unemployed and teenage girls/ women. 

“We will continue to serve the people of Laois with the intention of fulfilling our mission to ‘Lead, co-ordinate, support, inform and deliver a range of sports and physical activity opportunities for our community’. Sport and physical activity play a big part in the lives of people in County Laois and the growth of participation is evident through the numbers who are now participating in all activities,” Caroline continued.

“We now in Laois Sports Partnership, want all persons even those who do not take part in sports, easy access to both established and new sports as well as recreation and physical activity. It is also important that we continue to invest and develop our ranges of activities as there are ever increasing lifestyle health issues in Ireland. We work together with our local communities and clubs to create an environment that improves activity, health and wellbeing. 

“With the population growth of the county, it is key that Laois Sports Partnership continues to grow its strategic capacity and is supported as the lead agency for sports participation in County Laois.”

Laois Sports Partnership 2019 Annual Report Highlights:

  • 9,895 people participated in 79 locally delivered participation initiatives, including 16 Women in Sport initiatives with 463 participants
  • 2,915 participants took part in 20 interventions supported by the SVT Activity & Wellness Hub
  • 1,711 people with a disability took part in 36 LSP initiatives with 173 people volunteering
  • 1,223 people participated in BeActive Night Riverdance as part of European Week of Sport
  • 80 Clubs/Groups were provided with support for delivery of activities and with funding supports by LSPs and applications for other grants
  • LSPs planned and delivered 35 training and education courses with 655 people participating on these training courses 
  • 227 Sports Leaders and Volunteers completed Safeguarding Courses 
  • All 29 LSPs were supported with Community Sports Development Officer & Sports Inclusion Disability Officer positions
  • 1,999 visits to LSP Website in 2019
  • 6,407 social media followers across Facebook, Twitter and Instagram
  • Over €22m was invested in the LSP network nationwide 

Speaking at the launch of the LSP Annual Report, Minister of State for Tourism and Sport, Brendan Griffin TD said: “It is clear from the figures in the Annual Report that the Local Sports Partnership network has a positive impact in communities, especially for target groups who are often less represented. The Government’s new Covid 19 funding support package will ensure the survival of our vibrant sport sector, particularly the many clubs in local communities throughout the country. 

“It is heartening to see that so many people have recognised the importance of staying active during the crisis. It is important to thank everyone involved in the LSP network for keeping programmes going. We must now seize the opportunity to secure a lasting improvement in the health and wellbeing of our nation by encouraging people to stay involved in sport. I want to acknowledge the contribution of sports volunteers, not just for everything they have done during this public health crisis but for what they do all year round. We will continue to support their growth and provide every opportunity to sustain their ongoing involvement.”

The full 2019 LSP Annual Report can be viewed here. The Laois Sports Partnership Annual report is also available to review on https://www.laoissports.ie/about-us/publications/