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  • €350,000 available to clubs & groups countrywide
  • Over €2.6 million distributed since 2001
  • Over 4,000 grants allocated to date
  • Call for applications for grants to be in by 30 September 2009
  • It's never too late to start to exercise - World Heath Organisation.
  • Go for Life, an Age & Opportunity initiative funded by the Irish Sports Council is the National Programme for Sport and Physical Activity for Older People.

Again in 2009 Age & Opportunity and the Irish Sports Council advertised funding of €350,000 which has been allocated under the ninth National Grant Scheme for Sport and Physical Activity for Older People. The Scheme promotes opportunities for older people to participate in sport and physical activity.Applications for grants are requested from Clubs and Groups countrywide. The closing date for 2009 has now passed however it is envisaged that these grants will be made available again in 2010.

Any local group seeking to provide increased opportunities for older people to participate in sport and physical activity may apply for a grant.Grants range from €300-€2,500 and are typically used by groups to purchase equipment or so that members may explore a new sporting activity.In previous years successful applicants have included active retirement associations, senior citizens clubs, ICA guilds, sports clubs, day centres and community centres in 26 counties.

Go For Life encourages greater participation by older people in sports and physical activities at a time in life when regular exercise is hugely beneficial.Participation in sport and physical activity is proven to improve quality of life and health for all ages but older people particularly benefit from leading an active lifestyle.Contrary to the widespread view that older people should “do less”, The World Health Organisation. strongly recommends that people increase their level of physical activity as they get older.

The mission of the Go for Life Programme is to get more older people more active more often. A recent research report by IPSOS MORI, commissioned by Go for Life and the Irish Sports Council found that 58% of older adults lead sedentary lifestyles.These grants aim to try and introduce some of these people to a sport or physical activity they might enjoy and keep up.

The Go for Life Programme was developed by Age & Opportunity and the Irish Sports Council and is overseen by a Steering Committee that also includes representatives of Active Retirement Ireland, the Irish Senior Citizens Parliament and the Health Service Executive. The National Grant Scheme is a central element of the Go for Life Programme which also provides workshops for members of older people’s groups around the country to give them information and skills which enable them to lead sport and physical activity sessions within their groups.

Some Physical Activity Facts:
The benefits of physical activity can be enjoyed even if regular practice starts late in life. For people of all ages, physical activity improves quality of life in many ways:

  • It can help relieve the disability and pain associated with common diseases among older people (like cardiovascular disease, arthritis, osteoporosis, and hypertension.)
  • it can also contribute greatly to the management of some mental disorders such as depression.
  • It improves self-confidence and self-sufficiency—qualities that are the foundation of psychological well-being.

World Health Organisation, Extract from Factsheet: Physical Activity and older people


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