Healthy Ireland Fund  2017

In Budget 2017 funding of €5 million was allocated to the new Healthy Ireland fund. The first strand of funding of around €1.35 million announced on October 2nd includes a range of projects to support the National Physical Activity Plan, with a particular focus on children. 11 projects received funding including cycling and swimming initiatives, a new Young Athletes Programme with Special Olympics, and a significant expansion of the Active School Flag physical activity programme in schools around the country. A new project to develop the country’s library network as health and wellbeing hubs in communities is also being funded.   

Sport Ireland projects

Nine separate actions have been approved under the aegis of Sport Ireland which will be delivered with a number of partners including Local Sports Partnerships and National Governing Bodies for particular sports.  

The projects are:

Special Olympics Young Athletes Programme - €54,221 

The programme will target a very specific group, young people with an intellectual disability, to develop a Young Athletes pilot programme as an integral part of Special Olympics, involving an initial 50 Young Athletes and their families. Training will also be provided to volunteers in a number of other clubs to prepare for wider roll-out following the pilot phase.

The Great Dublin Bike Ride - €105,915 

The Great Dublin Bike Ride is a flagship event for the European Week of Sport in Ireland, 2017, held on Sunday the 24th of September.  This event is a key component of the Healthy Ireland-supported strategies around developing cycling participation.

National Fitness Day - €40,000 

National Fitness Day was another flagship of the European Week of Sport held on Friday 29th September, and the funding facilitated local facilities being made available in local communities free of charge, with the added intention of building local links to progress after the event.

Operation Transformation - €38,369 

This funding will support Sport Ireland’s involvement in 2018 Operation Transformation TV programme, which reaches an audience of 500,000+ and deliver a series of national walking and parkrun events in partnership with Local Sports Partnerships across the country, and leverage the promotional opportunity from the TV programme and associated media and social media activity.

Get Ireland Swimming - €150,000 

Swim Ireland is working in partnership with Ireland Active to develop a nationally-coordinated programme to support more children learn to swim. The funding will support promotional activity and networking at local level, including 500 children in 10 schools complete the Schools Swimming Programme and 5,000 free swims to communities, with a focus on supporting participation by schools and communities which otherwise might find it difficult to get involved. Schools in Dublin, Cork and Wexford are being identified for participation. The Dublin schools are likely to be in the following locations – Crumlin, Porterstown, Ballyfermot, Phibsboro and Coolock.

Get Ireland Walking - €100,000 

Support the early implementation of the new Get Ireland Walking Strategic Plan and campaign. This will include the delivery of 100 new Active Community Walking Groups in 28 Local Sports Partnerships across the country, and training for new local walking leaders in a range of rural and urban communities.

Get Ireland Cycling - €30,000 

The focus of this project is to begin the work required to establish a ‘Get Ireland Cycling’ initiative, to develop the culture of cycling in Ireland using the multi-agency partnership approach that has been successfully used for the Get Ireland Walking initiative.  

Cycle Right - €150,000 

Cycle Right is a cyclist road safety training programme developed and supported by the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport, the Road Safety Authority and Cycling Ireland. The funding will target school-aged children to participate in the programme to support greater participation in cycling to school etc, and support completion of the programme by approx. 5,000 children in 150 schools.  

Children Sport Participation and Physical Activity follow up study 2017-2018 - €70,000 

This study will act as a follow up to the 2010 Children Sport Physical Activity study which delivered a detailed assessment of participation in sport, physical education and physical activity among children and young people aged 10 – 18. Policy development currently relies on the data from 2010 which now needs to be updated and give a better baseline assessment to underpin the implementation of policy around physical activity in children and young people.

Local Government Management Agency Project  Healthy Ireland at Your Library Programme - €400,000 

This funding will enable the development of a new  Healthy Ireland initiative through the national network of over 300 libraries so these become part of the local ‘go to’ supports around health and wellbeing.  Through the country wide library network, the programme will provide a range of resources, services and support to users and communities via provision of a comprehensive collection of books on health and wellbeing available in all public libraries, online resources (e-books, audiobooks etc.), as well as local and national promotional activities to engage particular groups in the community, including those where health literacy supports are identified.

Active School Flag Project  Active School Flag - €213,290 

The existing Active School Flag is delivered by Mayo Education Centre on behalf of the Department of Education and Skills. A key action in the National Physical Activity Plan is to significantly expand the programme. This funding will be used to increase the numbers of primary schools participating in the initiative and to design a more fit-for-purpose model for post primary schools to align with the new Wellbeing area of learning.