SINN Féin Assemblyman Declan Kearney has welcomed release of the first funding awards from the Department for Communities’ £25 million Sports Sustainability Fund.
The South Antrim rep has also paid tribute to local clubs for their ‘resilience’ throughout the pandemic.
“I am delighted that the first funding awards from the Department for Communities’ £25m Sports Sustainability Fund are now being issued through SportNI, following a significant uptake from all sporting codes,” he said.
“Through this latest funding package, Communities Minister, Deirdre Hargey has once again acknowledged and responded to the financial hardship suffered by the sports sector as a result of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
“It is not only a lifeline for clubs, but also a recognition of the significant role which all our sporting codes, and especially here in South Antrim, have continued to play in supporting the local community at a time of huge uncertainty and worry for many.
“This latest intervention is in addition to the £2m issued to over 1,100 clubs through the Sports Hardship Fund, including funding of £800,000 for the provision of COVID Safe Sports Packs designed to help clubs make the necessary preparations for a return to activities when it is safe to do so.
“I want to acknowledge the resilience shown by all our sporting codes who, despite having to manage severe restrictions during the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, have gone above and beyond in their service to both club members and the community.
“I am very proud of the many sports clubs from right across our community here in South Antrim who have shown such exemplary leadership by reaching out and helping to support those most in need.”