A Fianna Fáil councillor has called for a bias towards women’s sports groups after the reinstatement of a €750,000 sports grant fund in Cork.
City councillors were told on Monday the substantial sports capital grant scheme, which was suspended in 2009, has been reactivated and is poised to accept new applications.
Tim Lucey, the city manager, said the money will be distributed to sporting groups and organisations over the next three years.
The money is designed to help clubs enhance premises, pitches, and facilities. The work being undertaken must be of a capital nature.
Grants can be awarded in three forms: Minor grants under €5,000, major grants over €5,000, and multi-annual grants.
In some cases, the money can help fund large-scale developments.
There was a broad welcome from all councillors to the reinstatement of the scheme.
However, Cllr Tim Brosnan (FF) said the committee which awarded the grants should express a bias towards women’s sporting clubs as it considered funding requests over the next three years.
“In the last round of funding, most of the main clubs and organisations were looked after and most of the facilities were built for men,” he said.
“And while I acknowledge that the facilities are often shared with women, it is a fact that in many cases, the facilities are first call to the men.
“When this committee sits down to consider funding applications, I would urge them to have a bias towards women’s organisations and facilities.
“And I would invite women’s sporting groups in particular to come forward with plans or issues they have.”
Mr Lucey said he was delighted that despite budgetary pressures, the council was able to find the money to reinstate the grants scheme. “The scheme is open now and arrangements will be made to advertise it publicly soon,” he said.
Lord Mayor Cllr Terry Shannon said the money would play a critical role in helping the city’s sports clubs to enhance their facilities. “The grants scheme recognises the critical impact that sport has in our society,” he said.
Application forms for the grants, as well as details on the qualifying criteria, are available from the council’s sports and recreation section in City Hall. Call 021 4924729 or email email@example.com.
Details should be available on the council’s website, corkcity.ie soon.
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