Building Sport at Local Level

Sport Ireland has published the 11th annual Sport Ireland Strategic, Planning, Evaluation and Knowledge (SPEAK) Report on the national network of Local Sports Partnerships (LSPs).

The publication was preceded by meetings in Athlone and Portlaoise last week where representatives of the Local Sports partnerships and Local Authorities were gathered for Q and A sessions with Sport Ireland’s team.

The SPEAK report provides an overview of the work of the 29 LSPs across the country, and highlights the innovative good practice projects and programmes that are being operated locally.

This year’s report highlights a number of particular case studies to illustrate the work being undertaken. These range from programmes aimed at encouraging migrant communities, older people and those with disability to get active as well as those who target new sports that might otherwise have less profile.

the number of people engaging with a LSP programme has risen seven fold over the past decade to a number now just shy of 350,000.

Almost €20 million was invested in the LSP network, including benefit in kind funding.

Commenting on the Report, Minister of State for Tourism and Sport, Brendan Griffin TD said: “The Local Sports Partnership Network carries out vital work in increasing participation, particularly among those sectors of society which are underrepresented in sport. This work is making a substantial contribution to the health and wellbeing of individuals, communities and the nation. Today’s report puts a spotlight on the many innovative local projects which are being undertaken by the Local Sports Partnerships across the country which provide an opportunity for all members of society, young and old, to take part in a wide range of sport and physical activities.”

Chief Executive of Sport Ireland, John Treacy, said: “One of Sport Ireland’s key priorities for the LSP network is the sustainable development within the local sports infrastructure; this report shows that LSPs are doing vital work with clubs and groups ensuring that structures are in place to allow people across the LSP target groups to participate in sport. I would like to thank all of the agencies, groups and individuals who have contributed to this report, and to those who were involved in the delivery of the programmes and projects at local level.”

Sport Ireland Director of Participation and Ethics, Dr. Una May, added: “Increasing participation across every age group and from all social backgrounds throughout Ireland is one of the key aims of Sport Ireland. The SPEAK report highlights the great work by the LSPs in removing barriers that hinder participation in sport and physical activity. Sport Ireland, through the Local Sports Partnership network, will continue to take a strategic approach with regard to programme delivery, continuing to place a strong emphasis on monitoring and evaluation of the programmes delivered.”

The full 2017 SPEAK Report can be viewed here.

2017 SPEAK Report Highlights:

  • 29 Local Sports Partnerships (LSPs)
  • 345,190 people participated in 949 locally delivered participation initiatives
  • 13,644 females took part in 74 local Women in Sport initiatives
  • 18,000 people took part in Operation Transformation 5k Fun Run and Nationwide Walks
  • 13,063 people took part in the Sport Ireland Cycle Series
  • 2,069 Clubs/Groups were supported by LSPs
  • LSPs planned and delivered 237 training and education courses, 14,234 people participated on these training courses
  • 7,009 completed 418 Safeguarding Courses
  • 22 LSPs received funding for Community Sports Development Officer positions in 2017
  • 20 LSPs were supported with Sports Inclusion Disability Officer positions in 2017
  • Almost €20m was invested in the LSP network, including benefit in kind funding
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