Laois Sports Partnership

All the latest news from Laois Sports Partnership across a wide variety of sports at all levels across county Laois.

All the latest news from Laois Sports Partnership across a wide variety of sports at all levels across county Laois.

Ossory Cycling Club

Ossory Cycle Club launched their first cycle tour on Sunday 22nd April 2012.

The club has been very progressive since it started only a year ago and has already over 50 members. The members have participated in various cycle tours so they wanted to organise their own tour. Cyclists came from all over the country to participate in the tour.

Riders were welcomed in the GAA centre where tea,coffee and refreshments were available.There were two options on the day for riders 50km and 100km. A perecentage of the money raised will go to local charities.

The 50km started at 11am going through the town passing the square on to Ballacolla. They turned left in Ballacolla on to Larrys Cross and there turned right for Pike of Rush Hall.Here there was a very welcome food stop .There was lots of sandwiches, fruit, bars, yogurts, juices, water, tea and coffee available.

Well refreshed the cyclists headed on through Borris-in-Ossory, turned left at the rounabout back for Rathdowney.

The 100km sarted at 10am. This consisted of the more seasoned cyclists who were in form for a challenging course. They headed for Mountrath, turned left towards the scenic Slieve Bloom Mountains. There was a very challenging climb of aprox 5km before a 10km descent into Clonaslee, left in Clonaslee for Kinnity where there was a very well deserved food stop. The refreshed cyclists headed on a very challenging road towards Roscrea.left in Roscrea sraight into Borris in Ossory and on to the finish in Rathdowney.

On ariving back in Rathdowney soup and refreshments were available for the tired and hungry riders. Certificates and medals were presented to all cyclists. A great day was had by all with all cyclists commenting on a well organised and enjoyable event.

Thanks to marshalls, motorbikers, registeration, cooks, helpers at food stops, drivers, emergencies services, masseurs and all who helped to make the event successfull. The club would like to extend their thanks to the Rathdowney GAA for the use of their facilities,and to all our sponsers without whom our event could not take place.

The Club have their own cycling gear choosing the colours of red and blue.

The club was also invited to participate in the Kildare League. This consists of six clubs - South Dublin, Naas, Newbridge, Carlow and Ossory Cycling Club. Ten cyclists are racing in this event. The first stage was held in Mondello on Thursday 3rd May.5 OCC riders finished in the main bunch. stages are being held in Rathdowney on the 28th June and 12th July.

Cycling has become very popular as it is a great way to keep fit and meet new people. The club will soon start training on a Wednesday evening for beginners who want to have some fun while exploring local country roads.

Ossory Cycling Club always welcomes new members contact Seamus 087-6446792 or Terry 087-7605446 for more information. Check OCCs facebook page

Minister Ring launches SPEAK report for 2011

A total of 55% of funding for Local Sport Partnerships raised locally. More than 200,000 people participated in locally delivered sports programmes. 380,000 children given access to Buntús since programme initiated in 2002. LSPS provided responses to 158,000 specific requests for information on sport

The impact of the national network of Local Sports Partnerships in 2011 in creating a local infrastructure for sport was detailed in a new report launched on May 23rd. The 31 Sports Partnerships are having a positive impact on hundreds of thousands of people through the delivery of direct programmes, support to local sports organisations.

In 2011, 202,458 people participated in 998 sports programmes delivered locally by the Sports Partnerships. This number includes 43,872 people who took part in the 316 programmes which were delivered for the first time in 2011.

An additional responsibility of the Sports Partnerships is the delivery for the Buntús range of sport programmes which introduce children to sport. Since the initiative started in 2002 more than 380,000 children have been provided access to Buntús which aims to give every child a quality introduction to a sport that is suitable to abilities. In 2011, 105 schools received training in Buntús and 466 childcare centres received Buntús Start training.

SPEAK 2011, the fifth annual evaluation of the national network of Local Sports Partnerships, was launched in Athy, Co Kildare by the Minister of State for Sport Mr. Michael Ring T.D. He was joined by Niall Quinn, the Chairman of Kildare Sports Partnership and John Treacy, CEO of the Irish Sports Council. Also, in attendance were trainees from the Community Sports Leaders programme operated by Kildare Sports Partnership which is giving local unemployed people an opportunity to become trained as sports coaches and leaders.

Minister Ring stated: “The SPEAK Report is very welcome as it outlines the impact of the Local Sports Partnerships. It provides clear indicators of their work and demonstrates the positive impact of the Partnerships especially on target groups who are often excluded from sport. I would like to thank all of those in the Local Sports Partnerships and sports organisations who are working to increase the levels of participation in sport and physical activity and I would encourage people to become involved in sport events in their local areas so that they can enjoy the health and social benefits that come from sport and physical activity.”    

The Sports Partnerships were created by the Irish Sports Council in 2000 to provide opportunities in sport for target groups which face barriers to sport. In 2010 there were increases in the number of locally delivered programmes and training opportunities for children & young people, people with a disability and women.

Funding from the Irish Sports Council accounts for 44.6% of the total LSP funding in 2011, the remaining 55.4% is raised from other sources this meets the recommendation from the Fitzpatrick Report of 2005. Over e12.7m was invested in the network in 2011 including Monetary Funding leveraged locally of e3,878,458 and Benefit-in-kind (BIK) of e3,167,060. Irish Sports Council funding to the LSP network reduced by over e428,000 or 7% from e6.11m in 2010 to e5.68m in 2011 reflecting the reduction of e2.6m in the Council’s own budget.

John Treacy, Chief Executive of the Irish Sports Council attended at the launch and commented; “The one development that I have noticed in 2011 is the greater awareness of the work of the LSPs. The governing bodies are reporting to me a much greater level of collaboration with Sports Partnership which is what we had always planned and hoped for. The focus of the national network is on increasing participation and the SPEAK Report demonstrates real and measurable success in that regard”.

Primary Schools Basketball Tournaments

May saw two great days of basketball, when our Primary School Basketball Tournaments for girls and boys were held in Clonaslee and Portlaoise. 19 teams from laois schools were joined by 5 teams from neighbouring Offaly over the two dates. A total of 38 games were played with the emphasis on fun and friendly competition.

The Girls Tournament was the first to be held, the venue on this occasion was Clonaslee Community Centre. Taking part were teams from Rath NS, Timahoe NS, Scoil Naomh Eoin Killenard, Castlecuffe NS, Sacread Heart Portlaoise, Scoil Mhuire Portlaoise, Presentation PS Portarlington, Clonaslee NS and Tullamore schools Gaelscoil and Eiscir Riada, St Philomena’s NS, Ballinamere NS and Mucklagh NS.

The following week the boys played in St Marys Hall Portlaoise with teams from St Pauls NS Portlaoise, Portarlington BNS, Scoil Phadraig BNS Mountmellick, Scoil Naomh Eoin Killenard, Rath NS and Timahoe NS. They were joined by Tullamore teams from Gaelscoil and Eiscir Riada and Scoil Bhride.

While the emphasis was on fun and participation, the teams were very professional in their preparation with extra practise sessions taking place in halls and courts across the county in the days and weeks leading up to the tournaments. It was a great opportunity for the schools to come together in a fun environment to gain competition experience without winning being the sole focus of the day. All of the players received certificates of participation for taking part.

Laois Sports Partnership will continue to support Primary Schools Basketball into the new school year, and are in the process of forming a committee with teachers from around the county with a view to setting up further leagues and tournaments in the Autumn. For more information please contact the LSP office.

Laois Sports Partnership Golf Classic 2012

On Saturday the 21st of May, the sun shone down on Portlaoise Golf Club as it hosted the Laois Sports Partnership’s golf classic 2012. There was a fine turn out with up to thirty teams taking to the course throughout the morning, all in support of Laois Sport Partnership disability inclusion programme which is co-ordinated by Irish paralympian, Garrett Culliton.

Laois Sports Partnership’ role is to promote, support and facilitate participation in sport and physical activity for the people of Laois. Over the past 10 years Laois Sports Partnership has established itself as an important entity, by both providing information and assistance to people throughout the county on sports and physical activity and by delivering a large amount of activity programmes.

The funds raised from the classic allow Laois Sports Partnership to continue to provide sports activities for over 400 people with disabilities in Laois. With the assistance of over 250 volunteers, they run programmes such as Tandem Cycling, Laois Boccia League, Soccer, Basketball/Wheelchair Basketball, Inclusive Leisure Centre Activities, Athletics, Badminton to name put a few. Due to the continuous restrictions in funding Laois Sports Partnership needs to raise e25,000 in 2012 in order to maintain this Disability Programme.

The winners on the day were a team of three which consisted of Barry Cribbin, Peter O’ Connell & Kieran Larkin. Running the winners close in second place were Martin Boran, Dermot Murphy, Declan Malone & Brian Oxley.

Our first place prize for an overnight BB for four with four ball was kindly sponsored by Mount Wolseley Golf, Spa & Country Resort. The Heritage Golf & Spa Resort, Portarlington Golf Club, Castle Barna Golf Club, Woodlands GC, Naas, Mountrath GC, Rathdowney GC, Abbeyleix GC all kindly contributed four green fee’s as prizes.

Helena Malone Goldsmith, KC Sports Mullingar, Egan’s Hostelry, The Mile Bush Inn, Kilminchy Pharmacy were also very generous in contributing prizes, with Caffe Latte sponsoring the refreshments for the players afterwards.

Special thanks must to given to Anna May McEvoy, Billy & Kathleen Gorman in particular for all their help and dedication in getting the event up and running. Laois Sports Partnership also wishes to thank all the local businesses and individuals who sponsored and participated, in what was a great event for a very worthy cause.

Portlaoise Street Soccer Returns

We are pleased to announce Portlaoise Street League will commence on Wednesday 27th June at 2pm in Portlaoise Leisure Centre, Astro Turf Pitch. The aim of the League is to increase self confidence and life opportunities through sports, team work and discipline. It is a 7 a side league open to all males in teams or individuals aged between 16-40 years old. The street soccer leagues in Laois are supported by Laois Partnership, Laois Sports Partnership, Laois County Council and the FAI. Registration your team now or for further information contact us on 057 8671248.

Calling all Ladies!

Women’s Soccer Leisure League is starting on the 26th June at Portlaoise Leisure Centre at 8pm. This League is aimed at women over the age of 18. The League is a fun Leisure League for women of all abilities and is a great way to meet new people while getting fit. Come along as an individual to join in the games. For more information contact Nichole on (086) 0485820 or email or drop into Laois Sports Partnership.

Get your Wheels in Motion for Bike

Bike Week aims to raise the profile of cycling - for leisure, competition and commuting - not only during the period 16th to 24th June, but throughout the year.

Bike Week is a nationwide effort comprising multiple events at local level, organised by 32 local authorities in conjunction with local sports partnerships, cycling enthusiasts and campaigns so for further information log on to, or Some of the events planned for Laois are 16th June Safe Cycling, 17th June Fun Cycle in Durrow, Co. Laois following launch of new South Laois Cycle Trails, 21st June Tandem Cycling Portlaoise Leisure Centre. Check out website for full details.

Wheelchair Basketball

A Fun Wheelchair Basketball Tournament was held by Laois Sports Partnership in St Mary’s Hall Portlaoise on Saturday the 19th of May.

The main aim of the event was to raise much needed funds for the SIDO programme in Laois; to support sports and physical activities for people with disabilities in the county coordinated by local paralympian Garrett Culleton.

Garrett, a wheelchair user himself after breaking his neck in a rugby accident in 1991, continues to be a fantastic ambassador for Laois Sports Partnership and the SIDO programme. He remains one of the most experienced members of the Paralympics Ireland panel having competed in 4 Paralympic Games and winning 5World Championship Medals in pentathlon and discus.

However Garrett is as well known locally for the tremendous work done on behalf of people with disabilities. Garrett has been employed by Laois Sports Partnership since 2005, initially in the role of Disability Officer - at the time the first post of its kind in the country - and subsequently as a SIDO (Sports Inclusion Disability Officer). The successes Garrett achieved in his role contributed to the setting up the SIDO network nationally.

The Fun Wheelchair Basketball Tournament was one of a number of fundraising events held by Laois Sports Partnership to support the SIDO programme which requires 50% match funding locally to maintain.

However, the tournament was also a fantastic success due to awareness it raised for the sport of wheelchair basketball. The lsp was assisted in organising the event by Michael Malone, Tus Co-ordinator with Laois Partnerhship, himself a keen basketball player since childhood. Due to recurring knee injuries he no longer plays regularly but through working with Garrett was introduced to wheelchair basket and is now a regular and enthusiastic player with Clonaslee Wheelchair Basketball Club.

Michael worked with Orla Dempsey, Development Officer with the Irish Wheelchair Association, and Clonaslee Basketball Club to hold the event. Chair and non-chair users all competed together in wheelchairs for the tournament. Non chair competitors who had not taken part in the sport previously were soon striving to emulate the skills of their chair using team mates. The novelty of using the wheelchairs was soon forgotten as the sheer fun and competitiveness of the games took over.

The staff from Laois Sports Partnership also competed in the tournament. It was one of the skills challenges they had set as part of the Irish Sports Council Challenge for the month of May, along with tandem cycling and discuss throwing. Expertly captained by Garrett, they hugely enjoined the day and were knocked out by the eventual tournament winners, a team led by local man Paul Tobin.

The event raised such fantastic feedback locally that it is hoped to run another tournament in the Autumn with requests already for a separate juvenile event.

Laois Sports Partnership would like to thank Laois Partnership and Michael Malone, Orla Dempsey and the IWA, Clonaslee Basketball Club and all the friends and sponsors who contributed to the success of the day.

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