Belfast Telegraph

Funding to help more Northern Ireland women to get active

By Steven Beacom

Women's sport in Northern Ireland will receive an investment of £250,000 as Sports Minister Paul Givan attempts to increase the female participation rates.

Givan believes that 2017 will be a huge year for women's sport in Northern Ireland with the Women's Rugby World Cup and Women's Under-19 European Championships being hosted here next year.

He insists that it is important both events are a success as that can help attract more big sporting events to the province.

"£250,000 is going into increasing participation of females in sport and that is to tie in with the World Cup rugby and the Uefa Under-19 Championships for women," he says.

"Females in sport have been under represented. I have three daughters and I'm keen they get involved in sport.

"We need to improve the number of girls who take up sport but that is about creating the opportunities for them and some of this funding will push that forward."

Another big sporting event in Northern Ireland next year is the Irish Open at Portstewart, while The Open Championship is set for Royal Portrush in 2019.

"Securing The Open was hugely significant and we want them to come back," says Givan.

"I'm responsible for leading a team around Portrush and making sure we capitalise on that as a region in terms of the tourist potential and economic investment. I'll lead on that in terms of the Executive.

"We need to get the Women's World Cup right and the Women's Uefa Under-19 tournament right and all of that will help feed in to our bid for 2023 Rugby World Cup. We have demonstrated with events that we have hosted previously that we can deliver and we have to keep doing that."

Givan is also investing £300,000 in disability sport, stating: "We are creating 11 hubs and have partnered with each council where people who are disabled will have the facilities and equipment to increase their participation. It's reaching beyond putting money into elite athletes and driving up participation in sport."

Belfast Telegraph


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