Sport Ireland has announced an investment package of €186,000 in Dormant Accounts funding for Wicklow Sports and Recreation Partnership.
The investment aims to engage communities and groups across the county to become more active and focuses on removing barriers to participating in physical activity. People living in marginalised and disadvantaged communities, people with a disability, women and girls, and people who are educationally disadvantaged are specifically targeted with this investment.
Rathdrum will be developed as an ‘Active Community’ with an initial investment of €60,000 towards physical activity interventions for the area, with the potential for this to increase to €170,000 over a five-year period.
Mr Michael Nicholson, Director of Service, Wicklow County Council, welcomed the announcement and the timely investment alongside the sports masterplan for Rathdrum which has been commissioned by the Council and which is due to begin shortly.
Carol Coad, Chairperson, Wicklow Sports and Recreation Partnership, outlined that the Sport Ireland investment will act as a catalyst for the development of Rathdrum as an outdoor recreation hub for the county which will contribute to achieving the strategic aims of the Wicklow Outdoor Recreation Strategy 2020-2025.
There will be a further investment of €61,000 in Volunteer training and education, Youth leadership and Sports Inclusion Disability projects throughout 2023.
Cllr Tommy Annesley, Cathaoirleach, Wicklow County Council, highlighted the “importance of investment in at grass roots level for clubs and community groups to ensure they have the capacity to grow and welcome new members.”
Mr Brian Gleeson, Chief Executive, Wicklow County Council said, the “significant investment, specifically around sports inclusion, will facilitate the sports partnership helping clubs and community groups become more accessible an open to a diverse membership.”
Wicklow Travellers Groups, based in CEART, Wicklow Town, will benefit from a €45,000 investment as part of the Urban Outdoor Adventure Initiative from Sport Ireland. In conjunction with Wicklow Sports Partnership, they will deliver a series of running, cycling and swimming programmes to the community.
Aisling Hubbard, Coordinator, Wicklow Sports and Recreation Partnership, thanked Minister Jack Chambers TD; Minister Joe O’Brien, TD and Chief Executive of Sport Ireland, Dr Úna May for their continued investment and support of the network of Local Sports Partnerships.
She said this was the highest once-off investment Wicklow Sports and Recreation Partnership have received through Dormant Account funding and that was testament to the delivery capabilities of the committee and partner agencies in Wicklow.