Funding totalling €213,588 has been granted to Connemara-based organisation Muintearas to administer the Athletics and Sports Programme to 18 primary schools in the Galway Gaeltacht.
The allocation, approved by the Minister of State for the Irish Language, the Gaeltacht, and the Islands, Séan Kyne, covers the school years 2019/20, 2020/21, and 2021/22.
The Athletics and Sports Programme provides schools with opportunities to be creative with the Irish language. A total of 15 schools in the Connemara Gaeltacht are taking part in the programme with up to 1,000 pupils in the language planning areas of Conamara Láir, the islands, An Cheathru Rua, Cois Fharraige, and Joyce Country/Thuar Mhic Éadaigh. Three people are employed to run the programme over the school year.
“It can be challenging to find ways to encourage an interest in active pastimes among young people, especially young people who do not have an interest in activities such as football,” said Minister Kyne. “There is a clear link between exercise and social, mental and physical health, and we are all advised to be active and exercise on a regular basis. This programme is a practical way to encourage and promote Irish among pupils in an enjoyable away outside of the classroom setting.”