Community organisations in Laois are to share out more than €10,000 to support sport and physical activity measures.
The funding from the Dormant Accounts Fund will go to the Local Sports Partnerships, as well as to disability supports and volunteer training.
The allocations were welcomed by Minister of States Seán Fleming, Pippa Hackett and Laois Offaly TD Charlie Flanagan.
"It’s important to make the sporting activity accessible to everyone – particularly in this time of pandemic when outdoor recreation and physical health are so important,” said Minister Hackett.
“My colleague, Sports Minister Catherine Martin is keen to boost participation levels among people with disability and to make sports more inclusive and accessible across the country,” added the Laois Offaly based Green Party senator.
Fianna Fáil Laois Offaly TD and Minister of State Seán Fleming also welcomed the measures.
"These are very important measures for boosting the impact of sport and physical activity on our physical and mental wellbeing.
"While keeping us fit, regular physical activity is an excellent social outlet for many during this COVID pandemic and this investment package will ultimately have a positive impact on the health of people whilst also supporting the growth of our community and social cohesion through sport," he said.
Fine Gael TD Charlie Flanagan also welcomed the allocations.
“The investment aims to engage with communities in Laois, focusing on people with disabilities, people who are educationally disadvantaged and from disadvantaged areas.
“The importance of sport and physical activity for our physical and mental health cannot be overstated and we have all seen how beneficial it has been for people of all ages during the current pandemic.
“I am delighted that Local Sports Partnerships (LSPs) in Laois have been allocated funding under various programme initiatives.
“I will continue to work with Minister for Media, Tourism, Arts, Culture, Sport and the Gaeltacht, Catherine Martin T.D, in order to secure essential funding for community organisations and thank her for her commitment,” he said.
Minister Flanagan's office outlined the allocation.
- €60,000 for Community Sports and Physical Activity Hubs for Rathdowney / Errill (€40,000) & Stradbally, Vicarstown, Timahoe (€20,000). These hubs provide information, support and advice on a wide range of sports and physical activities to make it easier for people in disadvantaged areas to get involved in and engage in a more active and healthier lifestyle.
- €35,100 for Urban Outdoor Adventure Initiatives, which aim to create new opportunities for people living in disadvantaged areas in Laois to participate in outdoor adventure sports in urban settings.
- €7,400 for the Volunteer Training & Support Programme. The fund aims to successfully identify and assist targeted individuals who are volunteering in disadvantaged communities or with people with disabilities to gain community sport leadership skills
- €5,500 for the Youth Leadership Project, which involves the development and delivery of youth leadership training for young people providing a stepping stone for learners into employment and also into further education or training.