Labour urges clubs to apply for the Sports Capital Grant
- Time for playing fields in each local authority municipality
Labour sports spokesperson Mark Wall has urged clubs nationwide to take time and apply for funding under the Sports Capital Grant. Applications open Monday 17th July at 9am and remain open until Friday 8th September at 5pm.
Senator Wall said:
“Sporting clubs and organisations are the absolute backbone of our communities but many are really struggling. More and more sports clubs are coming to the maximum amount of usage of their current facilities.
“While the Sports Capital Grant is a really useful way for clubs to get some help when it comes to improving and expanding amenities that benefit the whole community, more needs to be done.
“It’s now time to look at our community sports grounds and see how we can better develop amenities in communities throughout the country. Given the shortage of land, we now need local authorities to urgently identify and support our sports clubs through community sports centres.
“For example, in Athy, Kildare County Council have zoned 13 acres for this purpose in the town. While it now is subject to a housing development commencement, unfortunately for some clubs in the town, time is not on their side. This is a huge issue in Kildare where the Kildare Camogie team has 250 players without a pitch to train on. I’ve no doubt that scenarios like this are replicated across the country.
“It is Labour’s belief that there should be such a facility in every town with a population above 5,000. Sports clubs are telling us that there are huge issues locally in terms of having enough facilities for people to play sports and games in their community.
“The GAA outlined during an Oireachtas committee in May that facilities are now at a maximum and are going to run out quickly. We need to tackle this to keep sport embedded in communities.
“Sport is critically important for the mental health and physical wellbeing participants and spectators. Ensuring high quality playing pitches in communities nationwide would go a long way to encourage diversity, gender equality and inclusion within local towns and villages. We can’t underestimate the impact that sports have on fostering positive experiences for people. I would urge every sporting club, organisation and society to take a look through the Sport Capital Grant this summer.”