We are delighted to welcome this annual report, which provides an overview of the work of the Partnership in 2018.

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.

In 2018 Laois Sports Partnership engaged 15,487 people in 147 programmes and delivered 45 training courses to 1,020 people, 10 of these courses relating to our Sports Inclusion Disability with 368 people receiving training.

Target groups focused on during 2018 included children and young people, disadvantaged communities, men 16-40, integration initiatives, lifestyle intervention programmes 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. 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 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.

Finally I would like to thank Sport Ireland, our partner agencies, volunteers, clubs and

community voluntary organisations for their ongoing support and commitment to Laois Sports Partnership. I am confident that while the Strategic plan 2017-2021 provides significant challenges, it will enable the Laois Sports Partnership to continue on in a positive and productive manner to ensure this implementation of the visions and goals of LSP.

To view our annual report please visit our website www.laoissports.ie/publications