Laois Sports Partnership is one of 29 Local Sports Partnerships (LSPs) featured in the Annual Report 2020 published by Sport Ireland earlier this week.
The report highlights the work of the LSP Network and the impact they have on participation levels by engaging key target populations across Ireland.
Despite the Covid-19 pandemic, Laois Sports Partnership has continued to provide programmes and initiatives to ensure that everyone in Laois has the opportunity to share in the enjoyment as well as the mental and physical health benefits of sport and physical activity.
In 2020, Sport Ireland allocated over €870,000 in Programme Funding to the LSP Network, an increase of 53% from the 2019 investment. Programme funding is at the core of the LSPs engagement with participants and allows for the delivery of a range of community, club and school based initiatives, programmes and events.
In Laois in excess of 25,000 people engaged with our activities online and through social media during the Spring/Summer, Autumn & Christmas lockdowns.
71 programmes delivered with 3,987 participants
16 Women in Sport programmes delivered to 438 participants
46 programmes for people with disabilities delivered with 1,059 participants
321 families caring for people with disabilities supported during the lockdown
24 training courses delivered with 379 participants
37 Clubs received funding through Community Hubs, Women in Sport and the LSP Sport & Physical Activity Small Grant Scheme
35 Clubs received funding from the COVID-19 Small Club Grant Scheme
€761,901 funding was received by Laois Sports Partnership to deliver on initiatives and COVID-19 supports.
Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media Catherine Martin TD welcomed the publication of the Report.
“The National Sports Policy recognises the key role played by the Local Sports Partnerships in sports participation and how they can assist in the delivery of the ambitious participation actions set out in the Policy. Throughout the Covid-19 pandemic, the LSP network worked hard to develop new and innovative initiatives to target cohorts of the population who were most likely to be less active during the restrictions.
"This work will continue in to 2021 as we see the gradual return to sport and physical activity. Together we will work to increase access to sport and physical activity opportunities for all cohorts of the population”.
Minister of State for the Gaeltacht and Sport, Jack Chambers TD commented;
“I commend the work of the LSPs and community organisations they worked with throughout a difficult year. By collaborating closely with organisations within and outside the sporting sector, the LSPs delivered a range and variety of programmes and initiatives in communities throughout Ireland. As we move in to 2021 and beyond, the LSPs will continue to develop and deliver physical activity opportunities that are accessible and inclusive at a local level.
"I look forward to seeing the activities in the months and years to come as we move toward the target set out by the National Sports Policy”.
John Treacy, Chief Executive Sport Ireland commented;
“2020 was a very difficult year for the LSPs and sports participation in general. I must commend the staff and volunteers in the LSPs who adapted quickly and with agility to continue to support people to stay active during the pandemic.
"They embraced new ways of reaching the various groups in their community and worked together to deliver initiatives and resources at a national level. Although participation numbers reduced in 2020 due to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, we believe that the LSP network is well prepared and primed to promote a safe return to sport, in line with Government regulations. We are confident that as Government restrictions are gradually lifted LSPs will quickly return to, and even exceed, the high levels of engagement seen in 2019”.
Caroline Myers Head of Laois Sports Partnership commented;
“Laois LSP adapted quickly to a surreal year for everyone which is a huge credit to all the LSP team. We had to be creative and innovative in different ways than before and enter the virtual world to reach and support the communities. In the first lockdown demand was huge for online resources for family especially activities to entertain the children.
"We now have a huge bank of resources for all age cohorts on our social media channels and devised S’porting your wellbeing booklet. We were very quick off the mark to deliver online initiatives through zoom and Facebook live and as time went by we found that people really adapted to online physical activity. Throughout the year we were able to blend our activities to both online and deliver when restrictions allowed to a safe return to sport. We are looking forward to further supporting clubs and communities as we fully return to sport”.
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