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.
The aim of the Sports Partnership is to increase participation in sport/physical activity and it is envisaged that all projects will help to do just that particularly in specific target groups of our population. This year the scheme has funded initiatives including the set up of a new Mayo Orienteering Club, the new development of a senior basketball club in Westport, walking football initiatives in Ballinrobe, Kilmovee, and Achill, community participation initiative in Tourmakeady, mothers and others ladies' GAA programmes in Crossmolina and Westport, and cricket in Ballinrobe. Programmes in the Travelling community and the Special Olympics were also supported under the initiative.
“Since 2005 over 60,000 people, including 28,000 women, have participated in hundreds of programmes big and small across the county. Many of them have been supported by the annual small grant scheme which really helps to develop grassroots sport at local level,” Mayo Sports Partnership chairman Brendan Mulroy added.
Mayo Sports Partnership comprises representatives from local agencies, sports organisations, and community representatives, is core funded by Sport Ireland and is hosted by Mayo County Council. For funding under the annual Special Participation Grant Scheme applicants need to show that the suggested project will increase participation and is sustainable.