Cochrane welcomes funding boost for after-school sport

Alliance East Belfast MLA Judith Cochrane has welcomed news that after-school sport ventures across the region will receive a funding boost, following the launch of a £250,000 small grants programme by Sport Northern Ireland.

The Active Schools programme, 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. Furthermore, the programme will be open to both primary and post primary schools registered with the Department of Education.

Judith Cochrane MLA 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, explains: “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.”


Notes to editors

All schools must demonstrate links with local sports clubs or Governing Bodies of sport within their application.

All applications must be submitted no later than 12.00noon on Friday 4 October and all projects must take place and be fully invoiced on/before Monday 31st March 2014.

A number of information sessions will be held in early September to help guide applicants through the process:

16 September 2013- Da Vinci’s Hotel, Derry/Londonderry: 12.00pm-1.00pm

17 September 2013- Tullyglass House Hotel, Ballymena: 12.00pm-1.00pm

18 September 2013- Lough Neagh Discovery Centre, Craigavon: 12.00pm-1.00pm

19 September 2013 – Silverbirch Hotel, Omagh: 12.00pm-1.00pm

20 September 2013- House of Sport, Belfast: 10.30am-12.00pm and 2.30pm-4.00pm

To register for any of the information sessions, interested parties are advised to contact Joseph Donnelly josephdonnelly@sportni.netno later than 4.00pm on the day prior the session.

For more information and to apply for the Active Schools programme, please visit

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