Minister of State and Longford/Westmeath TD, Kevin ‘Boxer’ Moran, has welcomed the latest final set of allocations for local capital projects under the 2018 round of the Sports Capital Programme (SCP ).
In total, Westmeath sporting organisations are to receive €780,569, with a number of clubs from Athlone and the environs benefiting.
Athlone GAA, Garrycastle GAA, Caulry GAA and Maryland GAA have been afforded financial allocations towards the upgrades of floodlighting facilities at their respective sports grounds, while Rosemount GAA has received a contribution for the provision of a gymnasium and relevant necessary equipment.
Meanwhile, Scoil na gCeithre Máistrí, will receive an allocation towards hurling in the school, while Moate Golf Club wil benefit from financial impetus also.
The Sports Capital Programme is the primary means of providing Government funding for capital projects to sport and community organisations at local, regional and national level. The 2018 round of the Programme saw the highest level of interest ever with 2,337 individual applications received.
Minister Moran congratulated all the sports clubs and community groups in the constituency who received Sports Capital Grants.
“I want to congratulate and say well done to all the volunteers who have made the applications on behalf of their communities and who were successful. Sport plays an integral role in our communities up and down the country, particularly in Westmeath.
Minister Moran added that a review of all aspects of the 2018 round of the programme will now be undertaken and it is expected that a new round will open for applications in the coming months.
Meanwhile, Longford/Westmeath Fine Gael Deputy, Peter Burke has echoed similar sentiments to the Minister of State, noting that the relevant clubs will “significantly benefit” from the detailed funding.
“It is very much appropriate that these volunteer-led clubs receive Government funding as they provide the lifeblood and back bone to local communities, especially in rural and regional areas.
“I worked with many local clubs on their applications, with smaller grants being awarded earlier in the year. I have lobbied Minister Brendan Griffin and Department officials and I am glad these fantastic clubs are being recognised today. These larger grants will go a long way to upgrade and promote our sports clubs which do fantastic work to engage both young and old in all manner of sports in our communities.
“Active engagement in sports not only helps keep young people healthy, but also builds confidence, independence and promotes team building. Many of the clubs listed are the cornerstone of their communities, and Government funding to the tune of €22, 923 will be spent very well by Athlone GAA. Caulry GAA have received €29,576 with Garrycastle GAA Club being allocated €13,994. Other local clubs are also beneficiaries like Maryland GAA Club who have been awarded €38,825, Moate Golf Club €26,070 and Rosemount GAA whose committee will soon be in possession of €36,869.
“The Sports Capital Programme was re-instated by the last Fine Gael government in 2012, after it had been cut by Fianna Fáil in the wake of the economic crash. I am proud to be part of a Government who realises how important our sports clubs are in small, rural communities and provides substantial investment based on this.
“It is crucial we invest in sport and the health of our population, particularly with obesity on the rise. It is also a key time for rural Ireland, with many young people returning from abroad and involving them in local sports clubs and communities is a worthy pursuit for all involved,” Deputy Burke commented.