Sports Minister Paul Givan has announced an additional £120,000 funding which brings the total funding aimed at increasing the participation of women and girls in sport and physical activity across Northern Ireland to £370,000.
This boost is in addition to £250,000 funding which has been allocated to Sport NI to work with a range of community-based organisations across Northern Ireland to develop opportunities for women and girls to get involved in sport. The funding will allow Sport NI to work with the Female Sports Forum, Sported, Youth Sports Trust, Women in Sport and Physical Activity (WISPA), Disability Sport NI and the University of Ulster School of Sport.
The Minister said: “The £120,000 has been provided to Ulster Rugby, the Irish Football Association and the Ulster Council GAA to take forward activities which aim to encourage more women and girls in their sports. (£40,000 to each organisation).
“Increasing female participation in sport and physical activity in Northern Ireland is a key priority for my Department. That is why I am pleased to commit significant funding to provide additional opportunities for women and girls to get involved in sport, take part in physical activity and get fit and stay active.
“I hope this funding will help build capacity in areas such as administration, officiating and coaching.
“This Summer, we will see two major female sporting events in Northern Ireland, the Women’s Rugby World Cup and UEFA Women’s Under-19 tournament. These can be used to inspire individuals, clubs and other groups to get involved and hopefully this investment will help to sustain increased participation in the coming years.”
Currently, figures show 60 per cent of the NI female adult population say they take part in sport and physical recreation at least one day a week which is an improvement on 2008-09 figures which showed 24 per cent took part at least once a week.
Angela Platt, Chairperson from the Female Sports Forum, welcomed this “significant investment” which will provide a wide range of opportunities for women and girls throughout Northern Ireland to be more ‘Active, Fit and Sporty’.
“The investment will not only enable women and girls to participate and be more active but will also focus on developing more female coaches, officials, administrators and leaders, which are all crucial for the long term sustainability of sport and physical activity within our communities. We look forward to showcasing the impact of this investment in the coming months and years and thank the Minister for his continued support.”