Age & Opportunity confirms physical activity funding for older people in Westmeath

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. This year it is providing €7,350 to 29 groups in Westmeath.

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.

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.

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

“The 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 414 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,” Ms Horgan said

Of the funding allocations, grants were awarded to 20 Local Sports Partnerships, 199 Irish Countrywomen’s Association Guilds, 269 Active Retirement Groups, 57 Men’s sheds and 19 Women’s sheds.

Every year approximately 32,000 older people take part in physical activity funded by the Grant Scheme. Activities funded include aqua aerobics, rowing, dancing, cycling, clay pigeon shooting, bowling, self-defence, walking tennis, tai chi, walking and weight-lifting.

The successful Westmeath groups are:

Active Friends 08, An Grianan Golden Years ARA, Arthritis Ireland, Westmeath Branch, Athboy ICA, Athlone athletics club senior, Athlone Community Services Council CLG, B.M.B. Active Retirement Association, Bcdl Friendship Club, C.A.R.A. (Castletown Geoghegan Active Retirement Association ), Cairde Active Retirement (T/A Killucan Area Services CLG ), Castledaly Age Active L&G Group, Collinstown Fore Mens Shed, Coole Older Peoples Group, Delvin Friendship Club, Irish Wheelchair Association- Athlone, Kinnegad Women’s Group ARA, Milltown active retirement, Milltown Table Tennis Club, Moate Active Retirement, Moate Sports & Recreation Centre, Mullingar Harriers and Athletic Club, Mullingar ICA, Multyfarnham Pickleball Club, Rathowen Active Retirement, Rochfortbridge Community Centre, Rosemount GAA Social Initiative, Taughmon Turin Womens Group, The Thursday Club Ballymore, Westmeath Women’s Shed.

The Grant Scheme is part of Age & Opportunity’s Active programme, funded by Sport Ireland, and delivered nationwide with the support of the HSE and Local Sports Partnerships. Visit


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