The Federation of Irish Sport is made up of National Governing Bodies of sport as well as the 26 Local Sports Partnerships that operate around the country working with Local authorities to implement a wide variety of sporting programmes.

Starting this month we will have a round-up featuring some of the many activities that are taking place around the country so that you can see just how effective they are.

Dublin City Sport & Wellbeing Partnership

Dublin City Sport & Wellbeing Partnership’s ‘Green Scene’ initiative runs throughout June, July & August. The concept is for our team of Sport Officers to utilise the green spaces (from large parks to neighbourhood greens) across the city by scheduling a variety of FREE sport & physical activity programmes and one-off events that will target various demographics.

Here’s a flavour of the Green Scene itinerary for July:

  • Bootcamp Session in Brickfields Park, Drimnagh; July 3rd& 10thfrom 7pm – 8pm; Open to anyone aged 16 plus
  • Lunchtime Open-air Zumba Class in Harolds Cross Park; July 9th/16th/23rd/30thfrom 12.30pm – 1.30pm; Open to all ages
  • Multi-Sport Circuit in St. Michael’s Estate, Inchicore; July 10thfrom 10am – 1pm; Under 12’s
  • Multi-Sport Circuit in Bluebell; July 11th& 25thfrom 10am – 2pm; Under 12’s
  • Soccer Tournament in Ballyfermot; 17th/18th/19thJuly; 7 – 14 year olds
  • Multi-Sport Programme in Cabra Parkside (different sport each week); July 19th& 26thfrom 3pm – 4.30pm; Under 12’s
  • Finglas Family Fun Day in Farnham Park; July 27thfrom 12pm – 3pm; Open to the whole communityDCSWP
  • Inchicore Family Fun Day; July 19thfrom 2.30pm – 5pm; Open to the whole community

Cork Sports Partnership

Cork Bike Week 2018

Over 6,195 participants of all ages and abilities took part in 72 coordinated events during Cork Bike Week 2018. Events ranged from Family Fun Cycles, Bike Olympics, School events, Training days, nature cycles and many other club and community cycling events. 4,084 primary school children took part in 34 school-specific events organised through a range of different providers and schools respectively.

Four Cork Cycling Clubs got involved in Cork Bike Week organising a range of different cycling activities for over 201 people in their communities. These ranged from Leisure Cycles to Family Fun cycles and ensured all abilities and ages were catered for.

Irelands First Golf For All A Huge Success

Cork Sports Partnership teamed up with Cork City Council, Confederation of Golf in Ireland, O’Keeffe Golf Performance, Prince Clinic, Cope Foundation and Mahon Golf Club to run a four week Golf For All programme for adults with a disability.

Participants worked on their chipping, putting and driving skills during the weekly sessions.

The programmes was delivered by Irish International and TPI Certified professional Peter O’Keefe and he said “As soon as this concept was discussed I was in from the get go. My sister in law was a participant in the program and absolutely loved it. The golf side of the program is one thing but the social inclusion and interaction was something that I really saw developing from week to week.”

He continued to say “I had great help from my wife, my dad and Darren Prince with his family. I think once we all put our heads together we came up with a really good program that kept the participants engaged while also learning some basic fundamentals on the golf swing but most of all – we wanted to keep it fun which we did!! The support from Cork Sports Partnership and Cork City Council. The Confederation of Golf in Ireland backing the project had made it something that I can definitely see growing going forward. I am delighted to be a part of the golf for all initiative.”

Terence McSweeney, Sports and Physical Activity Manager, Cope Foundation was also involved in the project and he said “Three golfers from Cope Foundation participated; William McCarthy from Togher, Brian O’Shea from Bishopstown and Joe Hosford from Farranree; each thoroughly enjoyed the challenges, especially around putting under pressure and the strategy around ball positioning required when playing par 4’s and par 5’s”.

He continued “It was particularly welcome to be part of an initiative which was inclusive off all disabilities, which was in a venue where we were made particularly welcome and to which we know we will be welcome to return.

The golf skills challenges we undertook over the 4 weeks, would be challenging to all golfers and we would love to see golfers, without disabilities challenge themselves with us through this project.”

In the words of one participant “I really enjoyed the activity of the programme and an excellent way to improve social skills”.

Plans are underway to host a second phase of the Golf For All programme and we are keen to hear from players and volunteers who would like to get involved in the project.

Dun Laoghaire Rathdown Sports Partnership

The new Ballyogan Sports & Physical Activity Hub was officially launched on the 25thJuly in the Samuel Beckett Civic Campus. A range of local agencies, elected members and community groups were in attendance to hear how this new Hub will work towards making the area an active and sporty place to be.

Dun Laoghaire Rathdown Sports Partnership (DLRSP) has recently secured funding of €70,000 through Sport Ireland and the Dormant Accounts Fund for this Sports and Physical Hub to be located in Ballyogan. The Hub will not be a specific place or building – but rather a way of connecting people together through a range of sports and physical activities that are designed for the local community – and specifically for young people and adolescents.

The Ballyogan Sports & Physical Activity Hub will utilise and build on the existing significant infrastructural and community supports, through Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council and others, in the area to engage and support the local population in being active.

In seeking to ensure buy-in of the local community, the Sports Partnership and the Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown Children & Young People’s Services Committee carried out detailed research to identify the needs of young people living locally and the opportunities which the Hub might provide for them.

Shane McArdle, Coordinator with DLR Sports Partnership, commented ‘the key initial focus has been on generating awareness and building relationships with local partners as well as identifying gaps & opportunities. The Hub Steering Group will now set about putting these into action to help more children and young people be active and stay in sport.’


Meath Local Sports Partnership

2018 sees the Meath Heritage Cycle tour celebrate its 10thyear. Since the first cyclist took to the roads in 2009 up to last year, 21,885 cyclists have participated in the tour. The tour reached its peak in 2014 with 3500 cyclists.

In 2009, the tour commenced with 3 distances – 40km Tara Loop; 100km Royal Tour & 160km Royal Challenge. The 11km Family spin was introduced in 2010 and has been hugely popular ever since. Numbers participating in the family spin have grown from just over 100 in 2010 to almost 900 in 2017 – popularity of this distance can be partly attributed to the welcome received from Mary & Jack Quinns in Scurlorgstown who annually open up their premises to provide refreshments to all the participating cyclists. In 2011, the 40km distance became a 50km spin and has remained the same ever since.

Cyclists taking part in the 50km very much enjoy the ascent onto the Hill of Tara with its magnificent views, the eagerly awaited muffin and the welcome provided by the team from Maguires cafe and local volunteers.

Our 100km & 160km distances have changed routes over the years from taking in the climbs around Lough Carew to the mandatory cuppa in Bohermeen. From Loughanlea and the climbs around Cormeen to the Hills of Skryne, Slane and Sliabh Breagh – cyclists have seen many a by road in Meath which they may otherwise have never visited. Ryans Pub of Gormanlough has been a main water stop on the tour since 2009; 2018 will be the first year that the tour doesn`t include a stop at this popular watering hole.

Speaking at the launch of this year`s cycle tour event, organiser Mary Murphy (Coordinator of Meath Local Sports Partnership) thanked everyone for their continued support over the past 10 years in running a very successful and popular event. She paid tribute to the local communities who come out in force each year to open up their facilities and to provide a warm welcome to all cyclists. Since 2009, over 3700 volunteers have provided assistance to the event – without their support, the event just wouldn`t have happened.

She went on to acknowledge the tremendous support which Sport Ireland and An Post (main sponsor from 2009 – 2016) have provided; this is in addition to the support provided by Meath County Council, Gardai, Meath Civil Defence, Cycle clubs, OPW, Dunnes Stores, AES, Cycling Ireland, LMFM, Meath Chronicle, Aura Leisure Trim, SPIN 11, Bike Fit Studio, Trim Tidy Towns, Trim Castle Hotel and local sports clubs.

Local charities have benefitted greatly from their involvement with the cycle tour. Over the years – Meath Alzheimers Society, Friends of St Josephs in Trim and Enable Ireland have all served their time as the nominated charity for the event.

Over the years a number of well known faces and celebrities have taken part in the tour – comedian PJ Gallagher was the tour ambassador for 3 years with Bressie taking over the role in 2016. From the UK Ambassador, Dominic Chilpott to cycling legends of Philip Cassidy, Joe Barr, PJ Nolan & the Paralympic Cycling team to the sporting greats of Trevor Giles, Colm O Rourke & Eoin O Gara (Dublin) – the Meath Heritage Cycle tour is grateful to all for their participation and support of the event.

On a sadder note, it would be very remiss not to mention the contribution that cycling greats Joe Roche and Gay Howard gave to the tour particularly in the early years. Joe was responsible for route selection and very much enjoyed bringing cyclists up the hills and on lesser travelled routes! Gay acted as a mentor to the tour and was always on hand to give advice.

The event just would not be the same without the presence of our Master of Ceremonies – Eamonn Duffy. Eamonn is well known in cycling circles and always has an encouraging word for returning cyclists.

In the 10 years of the event, the Meath Heritage Cycle Tour has been shortlisted for the Meath Business Tourism Award and nominated Cycling Ireland Best Sportive. It has contributed greatly to boosting the local economy of Trim & surrounds and continues to be responsible for a high return of visitor numbers to the area each year.  The Meath Heritage Cycle tour has become a well-established calendar event not only on the Meath calendar but nationally on the calendar of cycle enthusiasts.

The Heritage Cycle tour will return for the 10thon the 28th& 29thJuly. The family spin will take place at 5pm on the 28th(registration on the day) with the 100k & 50k taking place on Sun 29th.


Cavan Local Sports Partnership

In April, Cavan Sports Partnership, in conjunction with Derryham Stables, organised a 8 inclusive horse riding programme for children with a disability. This initial programme had 10 children take part, which helped support the development of the children’s balance and coordination in a fun inclusive environment. Following on from this success and parents feedback obtained, a second programme began in June with maximum level of participation with 12 children registered.


South Dublin Sports Partnership

South Dublin Co. Sports Partnership (SDCSP) has purchased a specialised running buggy that we have provided to the parkrun in Tymon Park. The buggy allows disabled children to participate on the parkrun, pushed by a parent/guardian and in doing so has opened up new opportunities for both the disabled child and their parents/guardians. The buggy is stored in a Co. Co. facility beside where the parkrun takes place. This facility is also provided free of charge for use by parkrun participants for refreshments, changing, toilets etc. The parkrun manager is the point of contact for people to book the buggy and after the run the buggy is put back in the facility.

One of the goals of SDCSP is to maximize the use of the natural facilities in the county such as its parks. By supporting the introduction of parkrun we are achieving that, but by making parkrun more accessible to children with a disability and their parents/guardians we are taking that service enhancement a step further.

Our aim is to get the message to all parents of children with a disability that the hurdles to participation in sport/ healthy physical activity are being addressed by us. We want to make our facilities as open, inviting and easily accessible as possible. It is very important to state that the benefits of this initiative are felt not only by people with a disability but also their parents, siblings and the wider community. Having the equipment that allows a child with a disability to participate in a social interaction with the wider community is of enormous benefit to them and their family. They experience friendship from a wider social circle and feel recognized, valued and supported.



Mayo Sports partnership recently handed out €19,000 in grants to 36 clubs in the county.

The aim of the Sports Partnership is to increase participation in sport & physical activity and it is envisaged that all projects will help to do just that particularly in targeted sections of the population.

This year the scheme has funded initiatives including mothers and others programmes in Ladies GAA Clubs, new table tennis club in Ballyhaunis, athletic club development in Ballycastle, Ballinrobe and Castlebar, basketball club development in Charlestown, rounders in Breaffy, inline hockey in Castlebar , further development of Mayo Volleyball Club, junior golf programmes targeting disadvantaged in Ballina and Ballinrobe plus much more. Programmes for people with disabilities, community groups in Ballyhaunis, Louisburgh and Westport were also supported under the initiative.

“Our small grant scheme can help to get many initiatives off the ground and since the Partnerships inception in 2005 hundreds of programmes targeting specific groups of the population have been supported. In this regard I would like to acknowledge and thank Minister Michael Ring for his support to Mayo Sports Partnership while in his time as Minister for Sport and now through Dormant Account funding from his Department” said Mayo Sports Partnership Chairman Brendan Mulroy.



On Tuesday 10th July 2018, the latest addition to the sporting landscape in County Waterford was launched in the form of Saoirse, a new Trishaw.

Waterford Sports Partnership, in partnership with Waterford City & County Council, Waterford LCDC and Deise Day Centre, is delighted to have played a part in providing a new opportunity, particularly for older adults and people with a disability, to experience the Waterford Greenway for themselves.

The Trishaw Project was made possible following the 2017 call for funding under the Healthy Ireland Fund.  The idea of a ‘bike’ that would give people with lower mobility the opportunity to experience ‘the wind in their hair’ was welcomed by all and there was full support for the application from the Healthy Waterford committee, a sub-committee of Waterford LCDC.

Once funding was secured, Waterford Sports Partnership set about bringing the key players together and taking time to put in place an appropriate and sustainable model for its future use.  Deise Day Centre, a day centre in Dungarvan for people over 65 years to meet and join in social and therapeutic activities, generously agreed to take on the day to day management of the Trishaw and all that entails including storage and bookings.

Clara Clarke from Cycling without Age, who brought the first Trishaw to Ireland, and Cycling Ireland were also very supportive throughout the process especially in relation to the development of standardised training for Trishaw pilots which will now be used nationally.  Waterford Sports Partnership is now in a position to train volunteers locally.

We were delighted recently to use Saoirse during Bike Week for a number of school groups so that children who otherwise would not have had the opportunity were able to be on the Greenway together with their friends.

Ultimately, the Trishaw is about positive health and well being and positive experiences of physical activity and the outdoors.  It’s about including more people and gently changing attitudes to accessibility, inclusion and health for all.



If you would like to feature in next month’s Round Up please send your information by email to reach us no later than Friday 17th August.