The Shoot ‘n’ Stars Special Olympics club in Gaybrook, Mullingar has been awarded a Texaco Sportstars Bursary of €5,000.
The bursary will contribute to a number of activities and projects for the club, including gym hire, pool time, polo shirts, and travel for the club’s members. Shoot ‘n’ Stars is run on a voluntary basis to support special needs people who cannot find assistance elsewhere.
A total of 25 Irish sports clubs are to benefit from this year’s Texaco Sportstars Bursaries, totalling €120,000, which were awarded at a ceremony held in Dublin last Wednesday. The successful clubs included 20 from the Republic of Ireland and five from Northern Ireland.
Now in its second year, the Texaco Sportstars Bursaries scheme is open to sports clubs of all kinds. It was launched last year as part of celebrations to mark the 50th anniversary of the Texaco Sportstars Awards.
To provide for an expansion of the scheme in 2008, the overall bursaries allocation was virtually doubled to over €120,000 to provide for an increase to 25 in the number of clubs which would stand to benefit - up from 10 to 20 in the Republic of Ireland and from three to five in Northern Ireland.
A record 422 sports clubs submitted applications this year, representing clubs from all of the 32 counties - up 59 per cent on the 2007 entry. The largest number of these came from clubs in Dublin city and county, while other leading counties were Cork, Antrim, Down, and Galway.
Some 51 sporting disciplines were represented among the applications received. Soccer clubs made up the largest number, followed by GAA , basketball, hockey, swimming, athletics, rugby, boxing, special needs, rowing and sailing, and camogie.
“With entries almost double those of last year, we are overjoyed with the growing popularity of the Texaco Sportstars Bursaries scheme,” commented chairman of Texaco’s parent company Chevron, Enda Riney. “We are especially delighted that it is being seen by so many as a vital source of revenue that enables clubs to achieve goals that might otherwise be beyond reach.”