Belfast Telegraph

Financial injection for local sport will benefit community

By Ali Gordon

Sport in Northern Ireland has received a massive financial boost of £662,000 in 27 sports to increase participation and promote community relations.

The National Lottery-funded small grants programme aims to tackle poverty and social inclusion throughout the province.

Sport Northern Ireland's Chief Executive Antoinette McKeown said: "We are all more than ready for a great summer of sport, after a fantastic month of Giro excitement in May and the Commonwealth Games kicking off in July.

"Sport is unique in many ways and has many benefits. It can help improve our health and it can also break down barriers and promote good relations, uniting us as a community."

The funding is already being utilised to encourage physical activity amongst the community at Shaftsbury Community and Recreation Centre.

The Lower Ormeau Resident's Action Group's (LORAG) Inter Cultural Summer Sports Scheme will host 150 children aged 5-14 from a range of locations and communities across Belfast, such as Donegall Pass, the Markets and Lower Ormeau, as well as the Romanian, Ivorian, Somalian and Asylum seekers communities.

"Local clubs, community groups and our governing bodies of sport are doing fantastic work in providing opportunities for everyone to take part in sport and physical recreation and we are proud to support them through our Active Awards for Sport programme.

"This summer is an excellent opportunity for everyone in our communities to get active, get involved and get to know each other," McKeown added.

The funding from Sport Northern Ireland is also being used to support local initiatives Jog Belfast, the 10-week Coach to 5K and the Older & Active programme, which aims to increase physical activity in the over-60 category.

Sports clubs, community groups and governing bodies are able to apply for Active Awards for Sport funding worth £1,000 to £10,000. The funding is designed to help organisations cover the rising costs of sporting expenses, such as coaching fees, coach education, facility hire, fees for project-related courses and the purchase of equipment.

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