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Laois Sports Partnership Updates
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Laois Sports Partnership Updates

Updates from Laois Sports Partnership

2024 Grant Schemes – Deadline April 5th

As we approach the deadline for applications, we want to remind clubs and groups of the fantastic opportunity available through our 2024 Grant Schemes. Whether you’re aiming to enhance participation or support women in sports, this is your chance to secure funding ranging from €500 to €1000 for your club. The criteria must be that your club is based in Laois, operate as not-for-profit, open to public membership, prioritise sports or physical activity and have inclusive policies in place. Clubs or groups can apply for both grants as outlined below:

  • Participation Grant: Supporting activity and training programs or non-capital club development initiatives.
  • Women In Sport Grant: Focused on increasing physical activity levels among women and supporting their roles in sports organisations.

The deadline is April 5th, 2024. Further information and a link to the application form can be found on www.laoissports.ieor by contacting rita@laoissports.ie or call 057 867 1248.

Women In Sport Week

Women in Sport Week, held from Monday 4th to Sunday 10th March, was a testament to the incredible contributions of women and girls in sports. The week aimed to celebrate, promote, and highlight the achievements of females in various roles within the sporting community. Laois Sports Partnership played a significant role during the week, hosting a range of programmes and taster sessions exclusively for females. These included sport-specific courses offered online and interviews with local female sporting heroes. Events held during the week included Mothers & Daughters Gym Taster Sessions, Social Hikes, Relaxation Classes, Touch Rugby Blitzes, Tea Dances, Social Wellness Walks, and Online Webinars focusing on fitness and sports nutrition for women. Overall, the response was overwhelming, with approximately 300 women actively participating in the events throughout the week. It was truly heartening to witness the community’s collective support and celebration of women in sports.

Virtual Couch to 5km Finale Celebrations

Throughout March, several Couch to 5km programmes, including our Virtual Couch to 5km, reached their culmination. Participants were encouraged to mark this milestone by joining either the local Vicarstown Parkrun on Saturday, 9th March, coinciding with Women in Sport Week, or the Streets of Portlaoise 5km on St. Patrick’s Day. We extend our heartfelt congratulations to all participants who engaged with our programme and successfully completed their 5km finale. It’s a remarkable achievement and a testament to your dedication and hard work. Special recognition goes to St. Abban’s A.C. and Portlaoise A.C. for their efforts in delivering Couch to 5km programmes, with approximately 40 individuals participating in each. Additionally, we commend Portlaoise A.C. for hosting another fantastic Streets of Portlaoise Road Race, which saw approximately 1000 people participating in various events. These events not only promote fitness and healthy living but also foster a sense of community and achievement. We applaud everyone involved and look forward to continuing to support and celebrate such initiatives in the future.

U.8/U.9 Soccer Blitz Collaboration with FAI

We recently collaborated with Clare Conlon, FAI Development Officer for Laois, in organizing an U.8/U.9 Soccer Blitz held at Heywood College. This event takes place over three weekends in February, March, and April, from 11am to 2pm and is an excellent opportunity for young members of soccer clubs across County Laois to come together and showcase their skills. The most recent instalment of the Blitz was a great success, thanks to the enthusiastic participation of U.8/U.9 players from various soccer clubs in the county. We extend our gratitude to all participating soccer clubs for their dedication to promoting youth soccer development in our community. Such collaborations are essential in nurturing young talent and fostering a love for the sport. We look forward to the continued success of this event and the positive impact it has on our aspiring young athletes.

Badminton Programme with IPAS/Ukrainian Groups

From January to March 2024, we embarked on an inspiring journey with a diverse group of individuals, including International Protection Applicants and the Ukrainian Community new to Rathdowney Errill. Partnering with Badminton Ireland and various local organisations, we aimed to foster inclusivity and break down barriers through weekly badminton sessions. Led by coach Deanna Phelan, the programme not only improved sporting skills but also forged lasting friendships and community bonds.  Witnessing the positive outcomes, the establishment of a new club, fills us with pride and excitement for the future. The recent “Meet & Greet” day showcased the warm embrace of the local sports clubs, welcoming new members from the Ukrainian community. This event provided an invaluable opportunity for newcomers to connect with local sports clubs and groups through the Rathdowney Errill Activity Hub. The overwhelming response from clubs and participants alike underscores the importance of such initiatives in fostering social mobility and community cohesion.

Elegant Tea Dance With Maureen Culleton

Every Monday at the Parish Centre, we hosted sequence dancing led by the talented Maureen Culleton. This programme brought together a diverse group of participants, including older adults, disability groups, members of the Parkinson’s community, NCBI clients, and the general population. This culminated in a tea dance taking place in early March. Participants indulged in a variety of dances, from the graceful Pride of Erin Waltz to the energetic Bosonova and Mayfair Quickstep. Dressed in their finest attire, everyone embraced the elegance of ballroom dancing and enjoyed a morning filled with laughter and camaraderie. The atmosphere was simply magical as participants twirled and danced with grace and charm. Afterward, all attendees gathered to enjoy refreshments and treats, further enhancing the sense of community and joy. We extend our heartfelt thanks to Maureen Culleton for her wonderful dance lessons and to all participants for making each Tea Dance a truly memorable occasion. Here’s to many more gatherings filled with elegance, laughter, and delightful moments!