31/03/2004

Lottery sports boost for schools and local communities

Local schools and communities across Northern Ireland were celebrating today after more than £500,000 in lottery funding was allocated to boost PE and sport facilities.

Twenty schools and communities will benefit from today’s announcement by the largest of the lottery distributors, the New Opportunities Fund.

The grants have been awarded under the Fund’s PE and Sport programme. This £33.75 million programme aims to revamp existing facilities, build new outdoor sports facilities for pupils and encourage young people to stay involved in physical education.

New Opportunities Fund board member in Northern Ireland Breidge Gadd said: “Our New Opportunities for PE and Sport programme is already having an impact on schools and communities across Northern Ireland and this latest boost will bring new and improved facilities to many more.

“Every one of these grants has a part to play in widening access to quality sports facilities, giving children, young people and communities the chance to choose a healthier lifestyle, boost their self-esteem and confidence and build a positive outlook and sense of achievement. National Lottery players can take pride in the fact that they are helping to bring about such a positive change, widening availability and access to high quality sporting facilities in schools and communities across Northern Ireland."

Lottery grants have been awarded to projects in areas such as Belfast, Armagh, Carrickfergus, Coleraine, Larne and Strabane to build equipment stores, multi-purpose sports pitches as well as vital play facilities for pupils with learning difficulties.

(MB)

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