On the 17th of August 2022, Laois Sports Partnership will celebrate a milestone birthday of its 21st year. Laois Sports Partnership has come a long way in those 21 years, we have made many amazing memories, built many great relationships, and have proudly positioned ourselves as the leaders for sport and physical activity in County Laois.
In 1996, Louis Brennan, then Temporary County Manager, Laois Co. Co. supported by the enthusiasm and knowledge of a group of sports people, came up with an innovative idea of establishing a Sports Forum in the county. Louis had the feeling that the County Council should spearhead the concept of involving people of all ages, in sport and recreation so that all our people had the opportunity to play sport and learn how to lose as well as to win. His thinking was that this could be achieved using the then infrastructure and harnessing the wonderful commitment and experience of groups in the county. He received the support of the County Councillors and the local clubs. This led to Laois County Council being one of the first local authorities to create the post of Sports Officer to formally develop the vision of Laois Sports Forum. The concept, supported and driven by Sport Ireland (Formerly known as Irish Sports Council), has developed over time into Local Sports Partnership network as we know it.
Laois Sports Partnership was established in 2001, and was one of the original sports partnerships set up along with 7 other sports partnerships. Back then we operated off €130,000 which seems small today in comparison to the excess of €1,000,000 we received in funding in 2021. We have also seen massive growth in our output, with our online resources and online programmes we reached further into the communities during the pandemic. In 2021 we engaged with almost 20,000 people.
We have been privileged with having many high moments and also experienced some very challenging periods, some of which we never faced before such as the Covid-19 Pandemic. Nevertheless, we made it through these difficult times and always pushed ourselves to provide sports and physical activity to the people of Laois no matter what lay in front of us.
While we look to celebrate the success of the past 21 years, the main message we want to share is a thank you to the volunteers, clubs, communities, our partner agencies, our stakeholders especially Sport Ireland and the people of Laois. All of our success would not be possible without you. In the lead up to our 21st Birthday on the 17th of August, we will be running a campaign for 10 days leading up to that special day. Through our social media, you will find a range of competitions and shared memories of the past 21 years. We will have some fantastic prizes up for grabs and some fond memories will be shared for you to look back on.
Our celebrations will conclude at Laois Leisure, Portlaoise on the 17th of August 2022. We have teamed up with Laois Leisure, Portlaoise to host the official celebration of the day that the LSP was established. On the day from 11am, there will be a range of free activities taking place including a 2-hour open access of the swimming pool, an archery taster session, a spin session in the studio and an outdoor bootcamp class. This will be followed by refreshments for our guests at 12:30 pm, where we will present the prizes of our competitions and cut our cake to mark the occasion. It is set to be a fun filled day and we look forward to sharing this important milestone with the people of Laois.
2022 marks our 21st year and although we are very happy to celebrate the success of the past, we have never been more excited for the future. The pandemic showed us the value and importance of sport and physical activity for our health and wellbeing, which will drive us to deliver our strategy. We launched our new strategy earlier this year for 2022-2026. This strategy is focused around 5 thematic themes; Active Leadership, Active Promotion, Active Governance, Active Partnerships, and Active Places. We look forward to delivering this strategy and to the next 21 years of Laois Sports Partnership.
Caroline Myers, Chief Operating Officer of LSP said:
“It is also now more important than ever that we continue to invest and develop opportunities for participation for an active and healthy Laois. We will continue to work together with our partner agencies, clubs, and local communities to create an environment that improves activity, health and wellbeing. With a growing population it is key that Laois Sport Partnership continues to grow its strategic capacity and is supported as the lead agency for sports participation in County Laois.
We are excited for what is to come and look forward to working with you all in the coming years to achieve ‘Everybody Active in County Laois’.
Speaking on behalf of the announcement Dr Una May, CEO of Sport Ireland commented:
“I would like to share my congratulations to the Laois Sports Partnership on the celebration of their 21st anniversary. The milestone celebration gives us the opportunity to reflect and celebrate on the wonderful work the LSP has done since its inception in 2001. I know that Laois LSP will continue to go from strength to strength over the coming years, and I look forward to seeing the anniversary celebrations in full flow over the coming weeks.”
For our list of activities on the day, please click here.