Age & Opportunity is marking the distribution of its Active National Grant that provides significant funding for sport and physical activity amongst older people.

The Grant Scheme is a combined initiative from Age & Opportunity and Sport Ireland with funding provided by the Government of Ireland.

This year it is providing over €300,000 to support sport and physical activities run by 1,167 groups and organisations.

These range from Active Retirement Groups, ICAs, Men’s/Women’s Sheds, Physical Activity Leaders (PALs), care settings and other sports and social groups.

Age & Opportunity announces grants of over €300,000 to promote physical activity among older people 1
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Minister of State for Sport, Physical Education and the Gaeltacht, Thomas Byrne TD, said:

Today’s funding announcement is very welcome news as the Government endeavours to provide people of all ages with the opportunity to participate in sport and physical activity.

The Age & Opportunity Active National Grant Scheme has a positive impact on communities across Ireland and helps to provide opportunities for older people to get involved in sport and physical activity.

I want to thank Age & Opportunity for their excellent work and I wish them continued success in their valuable work for communities all across Ireland.

By financially supporting organisations to buy equipment and host activities specifically designed for older people, the grant helps older people reap the health benefits of being active.

One Nursing Home in Cork is sourcing equipment to continue hosting their annual Olympic Theme Event which they hosted for first time last year with help of the grant.

This year they are looking to add golf onto the list of activities.

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Minister Rabbitte said:

I see the impact of this grant in my constituency and welcome the announcement of this years funding opportunity.

Age and opportunity share a complex relationship, often intersecting at pivotal moments your life journey.

It is just great to see the grant being used for the less typical activities with a wide range of menu of activities open to our beloved older adults.

While youth is often associated with boundless potential and opportunities for exploration and growth, age brings with it wisdom, experience, and a deeper understanding of strengths and aspirations.

Regardless of age, seizing opportunities requires courage, resilience, and a willingness to adapt to change.

Embracing the journey with an open mind and a readiness to learn ensures that age becomes not a limitation but a source of empowerment, shaping the trajectory of your life and contributing to personal fulfillment and success.

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Speaking about the grant, Sport Ireland CEO, Dr Úna May commented:

Today’s grant funding is helping to create an Ireland where more older people can be more active and more connected.

he long-running Age & Opportunity Active National Grant Scheme has proven an excellent resource and I also want to acknowledge our own national network of Local Sports Partnerships who do wonderful work in communities across the country.

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Karen Horgan, CEO of Age & Opportunity, welcomed the ongoing partnership with Sport Ireland.

Today’s grant 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 older persons.

We are also delighted that this year 494 successful applications were from designated disadvantaged areas. In addition, there were 105 successful applications from care settings.

The renewed focus on providing meaningful activities in these settings is particularly welcome given the impact that Covid-19 has had on older people in these settings.

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Of today’s funding allocations, grants were awarded to:

20 Local Sports Partnerships,

211 Irish Countrywomen’s Association Guilds

327 Active Retirement Groups

57 Men’s sheds

19 Women’s sheds.

Every year approximately 32,000 older people take part in physical activity funded by the Grant Scheme.

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Activities funded include:

  • aqua aerobics
  • rowing
  • dancing
  • cycling
  • clay pigeon shooting
  • bowling
  • self-defence
  • walking tennis
  • tai chi
  • weight-lifting

The sky is the limit.

 

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