Galway sports clubs and community groups are being urged to apply for the Government’s new €40 million Sports Capital and Equipment Programme, which was unveiled this week.
Both the Minister of State Hildegarde Naughton, and Galway City West Labour councillor, Niall McNelis, are urging clubs to have their applications ready "as soon as possible".
Applications open on Friday December 11 at 9am and close on February 12 2021 at 5pm. Applications should be sent to the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport, and Media.
The programme is the Government’s primary vehicle for sports infrastructure investment, and will fund natural grass sports pitches, tracks and courts (including pitch drainage ); installing energy efficient measures; artificial sports pitches, tracks, courts and multi-use games areas; security fencing, ball stop netting, and goal posts; hurling walls/handball alleys; building/refurbishment dressing rooms, showers and toilets and/or sports halls and gyms; sports equipment; limited Covid related works/equipment.
The programme will seek to boost participation in disadvantaged areas, foster greater gender balance in sports, and improve access to sports facilities for people with disabilities.
Importance of sport for menatal and physical health
“The Covid-19 pandemic has served to highlight the importance of both watching and participating in sport for people’s physical and mental wellbeing," said Minister Naughton. "It has been a lifeline for many during the challenges we have faced in 2020. Our sports clubs and community groups have meant so much to so many this year, and this is an opportunity for us to recognise that contribution and to support their activities."
“Sporting organisations are the backbone of our communities and they have come under severe financial pressure due to the impact of Covid-19,?" said Cllr McNelis, "so these grants are an important signal to clubs that there is a future. Sport is also critically important for the mental and physical wellbeing of participants and spectators, and with a vaccine for Covid-19 on the horizon we can all be hopeful that 2021 will bring some eventual return to normality."
For more information about the funding programme, see https://www.gov.ie/sportscapital.