30/08/2013

Funding Boost For After-School Sports

Alliance East Belfast MLA, Judith Cochrane, has welcomed the announcement that after-school sport ventures across Northern Ireland are to receive a funding boost.

The news follows the launch of a £250,000 small grants programme unveiled by Sport Northern Ireland.

The Active Schools programme, which is designed to increase participation in sport and help develop club links, will support a range of projects for children and young people to participate in extra-curricular sport and physical recreation, particularly in areas of high social need.

The scheme is open to both primary and post-primary schools registered with the Department of Education.

Ms Cochrane said: "As a mother of two young children having seen the positive impact of after-school activities upon my own kids, I believe their potential for broadening horizons and enhancing opportunities for our children are unrivalled.

"What makes the Active Schools programme even more unique is the emphasis it places on getting our children and young people active and engaged in sport from a young age, which lends itself further to a wide range of health and social benefits."

Acting Chief Executive of Sport Northern Ireland, Nick Harkness, added: "Many schools are doing fantastic work in providing extra-curricular sport and physical recreation for their pupils and we want to support them.

"We hope that this programme will have a positive impact on young people from schools based in areas of high social deprivation and those schools who have a high percentage of students from Neighbourhood Renewal areas.

"These after-school activities give thousands of children and young people the chance to take up sports they may never have played before; helping them to discover that sport really does offer something for everyone. Getting involved in after-school sport and physical recreation is an important step towards developing a healthy lifestyle and continuing participation into adulthood."

(JP/CD)

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