National Grant Scheme for Sport and Physical Activity for Older People 2020

Closing date for applications: 12 noon on Friday the 2nd of October 2020


Since 2001 Sport Ireland has provided funding to Age & Opportunity for our Active  programme to help increase the participation of older people in recreational sport and  physical activity. This National Grant Scheme for Sport and Physical Activity for Older People  (hereafter referred to as the National Grant Scheme) is one element of the extensive Active  programme which has resulted from this funding.  


The National Grant Scheme aims to assist in the implementation of locally-developed, well planned initiatives designed to increase participation in recreational sport and physical  activity by older people. In particular, the scheme is aimed at: 

  • supporting the work of Age & Opportunity’s Active Programme including the network of  PALs (Physical Activity Leaders) and the development of Go for Life Games and other  initiatives;  
  • assisting local clubs/organisations to enhance existing opportunities for their members  in recreational sport and physical activity; 
  • assisting local clubs/organisations to start new initiatives geared at involving older  people in recreational sport and physical activity. 


Grants are available to all eligible local clubs, groups and organisations that promote  increased participation in recreational sport or physical activity for older people as a main  element of their activities. Commercial, statutory or umbrella bodies, or their agents, are  not eligible for funding under this grant scheme. An exception to this are Local Sports  Partnerships who are eligible to apply. Day centres completely funded and directed by  statutory bodies, such as the HSE, are not eligible.

Grants are made available for sport or physical activity for older people and the overall  membership of applicants must be such that older people will be the beneficiaries of the  grant monies.  

Funding for sports clubs will not be considered unless the application specifically relates to older people. Only one application per group will be considered.  


Applications are encouraged from clubs/organisations that: 

  • have the potential to increase levels and frequency of participation in recreational sport  and physical activity among older people in the local area; 
  • can act as showcases or successful demonstration projects that can be replicated by  other clubs/organisations in the future; 
  • have the potential to develop into a sustainable, longer-term programme; • have not previously received a grant; 
  • are developing initiatives in designated disadvantaged areas; 
  • are developing initiatives for minority older populations or older groups with special  needs; 
  • have one or more active Physical Activity Leaders (PALs); 
  • are focussed on an outdoor sport or physical activity initiative; 
  • developing an online sport or physical activity initiative; 
  • are making a joint application with other groups in their geographical community. 

Applicants who have had previous successful applications processed should take advantage  of PALs workshops. Contact the Active programme team or your local contacts listed on  page 8 to register. 

Funds permitting, grants will be between €200 and €600* and may be allocated towards the  cost of the eligible initiatives outlined overleaf. 

*Joint applications or applications from Community Development Programmes (CDPs), Local  Sports Partnerships (LSPs) etc. that provide wider access to community groups may be  allocated funding outside of these limits. In such circumstances a tax clearance  certificate/tax exemption form will be required.  


Physical Activity Programme 

For example:  

(1) a five-week programme to introduce older people to an activity such as Go for Life  Games, aerobics, aquafit, Tai Chi etc. The costs of hall hire and a qualified instructor might  form part of the overall cost; 

(2) an initiative by a sports club to involve more older people – the purchase of specialised  equipment, facility hire or a qualified independent instructor might form part of the overall  cost; 

(3) a series of yoga classes delivered online to older people; 

(4) an outdoor activity like cycling/walking programme. 


Purchase of Equipment / Resource Materials  

For example: Go for Life Games equipment, pitch and putt set, physical activity kitbag,  badminton racquets. Please note that, for the 2020 National Grant Scheme, Short Mat  Bowling equipment will only be considered for joint applications where it will be shared by  two or more groups.  

Participation Events 

For example: organising regular Go for Life Games or a Sportsfest aimed at introducing older  adults to a range of recreational sports. 


Non-sporting or non-physical activities – e.g. day trips  

Audio-visual equipment – e.g. DVD or CD players, televisions  

Exercise machines – e.g. treadmills, rowing machines, stationary bicycles Clothing or Footwear – of any kind 

Ongoing Commitments – e.g. membership fees for gyms or sports clubs, rental of facilities  or employment of professional instructors on an ongoing basis 

Club Insurance / Taxes or Rates 

Foreign Travel / Visits 

Feasibility Studies 

Competitions (or costs associated with competing) 

Capital Costs – e.g. the development or refurbishment of facilities 


  • Applicant clubs/organisations must have public liability insurance in place covering the  activities they wish to promote.  
  • Applicant clubs/organisations must provide details of current banking facilities including  full, accurate BIC and IBAN numbers. Note from 2021 post office accounts will be no  longer acceptable.  
  • Applicant local club/organisations must have a democratically elected executive. • Applicant clubs/organisations shall ensure that sufficient information about the  club/organisation is provided in the application form to assess its suitability for funding.  • Age & Opportunity may use the name of the applicant club/organisation and details of  the usage and outcomes of the grant in its own publicity and successful applicants shall  co-operate, if requested, in efforts to publicise the grant scheme. 
  • The decision of the Age & Opportunity in all matters relating to grant allocations is final. • Successful applicants can only use the grant for the purposes specified on their  application form. 
  • Applications for grants from successful applicants under the 2019 National Grant  Scheme must include a completed evaluation section of the application form, if the  grant has already been spent. However, if the group has been unable to spend this grant  due to Covid-19 national restrictions an evaluation must be completed on or before  closing date of 2021 National Grant Scheme. 
  • Successful applicants should acknowledge Age & Opportunity and Sport Ireland in any  communication, promotion or publicity materials generated in relation to activities  funded by this grant.


Age & Opportunity and Sport Ireland will not accept liability for damage or injury which  might arise in the use of any funds made available. The consequences of any incorrectly  supplied or inaccurate information are the responsibility of the club or organisation  applying.  


Completed Application Forms should reach Age & Opportunity’s Active programme office  before 12 noon on Friday the 2nd of October 2020. Grant allocations will be announced in  early December 2020. 


National-Grant-Scheme-Application-Form-2020 (2)       More information.

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