Age & Opportunity’s Go for Life Programme announces sports grants for 15 Older Groups in Laois

  • 15 Laois groups will receive a total of €5,070 to fund physical activity for older people
  • 1,028 grants totalling almost €300,000 allocated to groups nationwide under 2018 programme
  • €5.7m awarded to date by the National Grant Scheme
  • 30,000 older people to benefit from investment
Age & Opportunity’s Go for Life Programme announces sports grants for 15 Older Groups in Laois

L-R: Marian Mooney, member of Bun brosna/ Multyfarnham /Ballinafid Active Retirement Association, John Treacy, Chief Executive of Sport Ireland, Cyrian Connaughton, Bun brosna/ Multyfarnham /Ballinafid Active Retirement Association and Sue Guildea, Age & Opportunity’s Go for Life Assistant Manager

The ‘Go for Life’ National Grant Scheme has celebrated a momentous allocation of funding for sporting activities in older age-groups.

The grants scheme, a combined initiative from Age & Opportunity and Sport Ireland, will distribute almost €5,070 across 15 groups in Laois. Nationwide over 1,000 groups will receive grants totalling almost €300,000.

The allocation brings the total grants allocated over the last 18 years to over 14,000 and the total fund allocated to date is €5.7 million.
The National Grant Scheme is widely recognised for its positive endeavours and encouragement of activity among older people.

Brendan Griffin, Minister of State with responsibility for Sport, said the funding has not only supported older people, but empowered their age group to get more active more often.

“These allocations enable groups across Ireland to achieve activity goals for thousands of older people,” he said. “Programmes like ‘Go for Life’ are a great way to bring the National Physical Activity Plan into people’s lives. They provide an accessible and enjoyable means for older people in communities nationwide to reap the health rewards from doing physical activity. I am delighted to see that almost €300,000 has been allocated by Sport Ireland to the Go for Life grants to over one thousand groups this year.  This means that 30,000 older people will take part in sport and physical activity as a direct result of this grant scheme.  This scheme is a wonderful way of promoting increased participation for older people.”

Speaking at the launch, John Treacy, Chief Executive of Sport Ireland, said the ‘Go for Life’ initiative continues to power ahead as a valuable resource in getting more older people active.

“We never cease to be amazed by the popularity and enthusiasm for the ‘Go for Life’ programme,” he said. “Sport Ireland, along with our partner Age & Opportunity work tirelessly to deliver opportunities and grants to as many deserving clubs and groups as is possible. There has never been a greater focus on being active and understanding the benefit of keeping fit, and ‘Go for Life’ is indicative of that appetite in older age-groups.”

The number of people who will take part in activities funded by the 2018 grant scheme is over 30,000. The investment provided by the grant will be subsidised by over 77% of groups and participants. The number of grants allocated exceeds 1000 for the sixth time and the percentage of successful applicants is 92%.

Karen Smyth, CEO of Age & Opportunity, said today’s funding was an important milestone in keeping older age groups healthy and active. She said the allocation of grants ensured clubs and groups from all walks of life could benefit from the scheme.

“This year, 309 successful applications were from designated disadvantaged areas and 96 were from applicants who had not previously received a grant,” she said. We are delighted to work on this in partnership with Sport Ireland and long may this collaboration continue. Age & Opportunity puts the value that older people bring to our society at the top of its agenda, and today’s announcement is further evidence of paying tribute to older generation.”

The successful Laois groups are:
Vicarstown Recreational Group ARA, St Bernadette’s Hall Committee, Clough ICA, Camross ARA, Happy Hearts Portarlington ARA, Cullohill ICA, Mountmellick ARA, Killenard ARA, Laois Sports Partnership, Timahoe ICA, Abbeyleix ICA, Arthritis Ireland Laois Branch, Abbeyleix ARA, Emo ARA, Maryborough Centre – St. Fintan’s.
Of today’s successful funding allocations, 205 grants were awarded to Active Retirement Associations, 268 grants were awarded to Irish Countrywomen’s Associations and 23 applications were made by Local Sports Partnerships.
Other funding allocations included: 24 Mens Sheds’ groups; seven Rehab Care groups; 11 Arthritis Ireland initiatives; 10 Irish Wheelchair Association groups; and activities for 32 Family Resource Centres.
The Grant Scheme demonstrates the wide scope and ambition of Ireland’s older generations where keeping healthy and active is concerned. Zumba, Salsa dancing, rowing, Aqua Aerobics, Pilates and Tai Chi are just some of the activities the grant will fund.
The Grant Scheme is part of Age & Opportunity’s ‘Go for Life’ programme, funded by Sport Ireland, and delivered nationwide with the support of Local Sports Partnerships and the HSE.

About Go for Life

Go for Life is the national programme for sport and physical activity for older people. Go for Life is an Age & Opportunity Sport initiative, funded by Sport Ireland. Further details about Go for Life can be found on
About Age & Opportunity
Age & Opportunity is the national organisation that inspires everyone to reach their full potential as they age. Our aim is to inspire people aged 50+ to live a dynamic and fulfilling life where they are more active, more engaged, more visible, more creative, more connected, more often. We work with communities and groups nationwide to provide a range of opportunities for older people who want to get more involved in arts and culture, sport and physical activity, education & personal development.
About Sport Ireland
Sport Ireland plans, leads and co-ordinates the sustainable development of competitive and recreational sport in Ireland. Sport Ireland’s vision is one where: sport contributes to enhancing the quality of Irish life and everyone is encouraged and valued in sport; young people see sport participation as an integral and enjoyable part of their busy lives; individuals can develop their sporting abilities and enhance their enjoyment, limited only by their talent and commitment; Irish sportsmen and women achieve consistent world-class performance, fairly.
Activities Funded by the Scheme
A wide range of physical activities will be supported by the 2018 grants and they include:
Go for Life Games Kitbags Pickleball
Table Tennis Pilates
Go for Life PALs equipment Tennis
Sportsfests Cycling
Salsa Dancing Yoga
Fishing Rowing
Tai Chi Orienteering
Ballroom Dancing Badminton
Bowling Zumba Dancing
Line Dancing Set Dancing
Aqua Aerobics Swimming
Kurling Pitch & Putt
Walking Cornhole
Archery Box Hockey

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