Friday, May 26, 2023


By Joe Barrett

Thirteen groups in Laois received a total of €5,160 to fund physical activity for older people.

The funding was awarded from Age & Opportunity and Sport Ireland from the Active National Grant that provides for sport and physical activity among older people and is delivered with the support of the HSE and Local Sports Partnerships.

The groups in Laois that received the funding were Camross Parish Development Association – Laois Sports Partnership – Castletown Active Age Club – Clough ICA – Happy Hearts ARI Portarlington – Oakdale Nursing Home – Spink ICA – Castletown ICA – 50 + Active Age Group Portlaoise ARA – Killenard ARA – Ballyroan ARA – Portlaoise Panther Basketball Club – Clonad ICA.

Minister of State with special responsibility for Sport and Physical Education, Thomas Byrne TD, said: “The Age & Opportunity Active National Grant Scheme has already had a positive impact on communities across Ireland and has contributed towards improving the opportunities for older people to get involved in sports and physical activity. As a government, we want to see older people helped to be more active and this year’s funding will support sports clubs, Irish Countrywomen’s Association Guilds, and Active Retirement Associations in meeting that goal.”

Chief Executive of Sport Ireland Dr Úna May said: “We are delighted to continue our support of the Age & Opportunity National Grant Scheme which continues to be an important asset to local communities. By assisting with funding, we play a small part in providing better opportunities in our communities for our older generation to improve their physical and mental health through taking part in physical activity. The ongoing work has been a great success to date. Age & Opportunity is doing a wonderful job and we are delighted to show our support once again. I also want to acknowledge our own national network of Local Sports Partnerships who together do wonderful work in communities across the country.”

CEO of Age & Opportunity Karen Horgan said the funding “is helping us create an Ireland where more older people are more active and more connected. We are delighted to note the number of successful applications from sports clubs who are seeing an increase in the numbers of older people joining their activities. Indeed many of them are specifically organising courses to cater for an older cohort.”

Every year approximately 30,000 older people take part in physical activity funded by the Grant Scheme. Activities funded include archery, rowing, dancing, cycling, clay pigeon shooting, kayaking, GAA, mountain biking, table tennis, tai chi, walking and weightlifting.

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