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The impact of sport will always be greater on a society in which it is valued, and here in Ireland Gaelic football and hurling are as intrinsic to our culture as cricket is in India, baseball in Japan, American football in the USA, or rugby in New Zealand.
Mayo Sports Partnership is pleased to launch details of its upcoming Special Participation Sports Investment Scheme for 2017. The scheme, supported by Sport Ireland, invites clubs and organizations who have sport/recreation as their central focus to submit proposals which would increase participation amongst target groups such as youth at risk, disadvantaged communities, unemployed, women, travelling community, middle aged men, disabilities and ethnic minorities. This may include setting up of new clubs or additional activities which would increase participation within existing organizations.
The 1880s was a watershed in the history of sport in Ireland. Soccer's All-Ireland governing body was established in Belfast in 1880 and during that decade the sport began to spread out from Ulster and scatter throughout the island. The first set of rules for rugby were drawn up in England in 1845, but the sport did not gain much traction in Ireland until the 1880s, a mere 10 years after the first game was played on Irish soil. The sport’s managing body, the Irish Rugby Football Union, was founded in 1879. The Golfing Union of Ireland was established in 1891, and though the game was being played in Ireland prior to that date, it had not attracted a Mayo following. The first golf club in Connacht was only founded in 1892. In 1884, the Gaelic Athletic Association was formed with a view to promoting Ireland’s native games. All of these sports have grown to become extremely popular in Mayo today but one sport, once arguably the most popular organised sport in the county, has virtually disappeared.
At a recent Mayo Sports Partnership Board meeting €19,500 was allocated to 46 clubs/organisations in Mayo through the Partnership's 2016 Special Participation Grant Scheme. Special guest at the presentation event, Minister of State for Regional Economic Development Michael Ring, paid tribute to volunteers involved in sport at all levels throughout the county. “Without volunteers sport in Mayo like every other county would not happen. Its so important that we recognise the hard work of volunteers through initiatives such as the Mayo Sports Partnerships annual small grant scheme,” Minister Ring said.
Six Mayo AC athletes travelled to Dundalk on Sunday to compete in the National Masters Cross Country Championships in the grounds of the institute of technology. They lined up in a competitive field of 220 from clubs nationwide. The 4k race was for all women athletes and was run over a testing two lap course in tough conditions.