Sport and physical activity in Laois has received a welcome boost, with €108,040 being allocated to Laois Sports Partnership through the Dormant Accounts Fund.

The allocation is part of a total investment package of €7.3m in Dormant Accounts Funding announced by Sport Ireland for a wide range of sport and physical activity measures countrywide.

Sport Ireland’s investment aims to engage with communities across the country, focusing on people with disabilities, people who are educationally disadvantaged and from disadvantaged communities.

Included in the allocation to Laois is €40,000 for the SVT Activity & Wellness Hub, €20,000 for Rathdowney Errill Activity Hub, €35,100 for Urban Outdoor Adventure Initiatives, €7,440 for Volunteer Supports and €5,400 for Youth Leadership.

Speaking about the new round of Dormant Accounts Funding, Minister for Media, Tourism, Arts, Culture, Sport and the Gaeltacht, Catherine Martin TD, said: “A key priority for Government is the targeting of resources at programmes that seek to address inequalities in sports participation, in particular socio-economic disadvantage. Similarly, we are keen to ensure that interventions are in place to boost participation levels among people with disabilities. The range of measures funded through the Dormant Accounts Fund is helping to make sport and physical activity more inclusive and accessible for many people right across Ireland.”

Minister of State for Sport and the Gaeltacht, Jack Chambers TD, added: “The positive impact of sport and physical activity on our physical and mental wellbeing cannot be overstated. The current pandemic has confirmed the critical importance of sport to Irish society and the uplift it provides to people’s spirits. While keeping us fit, regular physical activity is an excellent social outlet for many. The investment package announced today will have a positive impact on the health of the nation, and support the growth of community and social cohesion through sport.”

Among the successful Dormant Accounts Fund projects announced are thirteen new Innovation projects.

Chairman of Sport Ireland, Kieran Mulvey, commented: “Sport Ireland is delighted with the significant investment of €990,000 in Innovation for Sports Inclusion. These creative Innovation projects have the potential to create solutions to the problems that exist in sports participation. The announcement of thirteen innovation projects is very welcomed, stimulating collaboration within and beyond the sports sector.”

Chief Executive of Sport Ireland, John Treacy, commented: “The increase in Dormant Accounts Funding will enable Sport Ireland, supported by National Governing Bodies and Local Sports Partnerships to have a positive impact on the health and wellbeing of communities throughout Ireland. Key to the work of Sport Ireland is the belief that everyone should have the opportunity to partake in sport and physical activity, no matter what their circumstances.”

As with previous funding announced, the investment is closely aligned with the National Sports Policy and the National Physical Activity Plan.  A particular emphasis is placed on implementing programmes to promote physical activity, making sport and physical activity accessible to people with a disability and the development of programmes to address transitions and drop out from physical activity.

Caroline Myers, Coordinator of Laois Local Sports Partnership said: “We are thrilled to receive the Dormant Account Funding which has been invaluable in creating opportunities for sport and physical activity in Laois”.

See the full list of funded projects here.