Minister Griffin announces Go for Life Grant success for 19 Older Groups in Offaly

Offaly groups will receive a total of €5,870 to fund physical activity for older people  Almost €300,000 awarded to clubs and groups nationwide this yea

A total of 19 groups in Offaly are celebrating the awarding of grants to fund physical activity for older people. The Go for Life Grant Scheme from Age & Opportunity and Sport Ireland is awarding over €5,870 to groups around Offaly, and nationwide grants totalling almost €300,000. 

The aim of the grants is to improve the health and wellbeing of older people across the country by providing them with opportunities to engage in physical activity and sport.  Groups benefitting this year include Men’s Sheds, ICA guilds, Active Retirement Groups, Local Sports Partnerships, Sports Clubs, Family Resources Centres and many others who provide older people with opportunities to get active.  

Announcing the successful grantees at the Ballybough Community Centre, Minister of State for Tourism and Sport Brendan Griffin TD, said: 

‘Over the last seventeen years the National Grant Scheme funding has supported and empowered thousands of groups of older people to get more active more often and the record number of applications this year shows the continued importance of the scheme for groups throughout the country. Programmes like Go for Life, funded by Sport Ireland, will help us reach the targets set out in the National Physical Activity Plan and approximately 30,000 people nationwide will take part in the activities funded by the grants. The success of this scheme shows what can be achieved with a small investment and the importance of funding sport and physical activity, at any age.’

The successful Offaly groups are: 

Arden View Active Age Group, Athlone ICA, BLC Developments/BLC ARA, Clareen ICA (Birr), Clonbullogue ARA, Edenderry Bowles Club, Edenderry ICA, Golden Years Club, Irish Wheelchair Association, Tullamore, Kilcormac Women's Group, Mental Health Association, Offaly, Mount Bolus Active Age, Mucklagh ARA, Offaly Sports Partnership, Rahan ICA, Seir Kieran ARA, Tullamore ARA, Tullamore ICA, Wolftrap Cycling Club

Speaking at the launch, John Treacy, Chief Executive of Sport Ireland said: 

"Sport Ireland is delighted to partner with Age & Opportunity’s Go for Life Programme to support participation among older people in recreational sport activities. One of the key strategic objectives of Sport Ireland is increasing participation and initiatives such as this are a great way of encouraging people to get out and get active regardless of age or fitness level. I want to congratulate and acknowledge the groups themselves, and our own national network of Local Sports Partnerships, who continue to provide opportunities for older people to participate in sport and physical activity”.  

Karen Smyth, CEO of Age & Opportunity commented: “The benefits of sport and physical activity are numerous, from the obvious health benefits to the increasingly important social benefits of inclusion and relationship-building. The Go for Life Programme and the Grant Scheme are helping to get more older people more active, more often and we are delighted to support local groups to engage in such a wide variety of activities, demonstrating the richness of the ageing experience nationwide.”

The Grant Scheme is part of Age & Opportunity’s Go for Life programme, funded by Sport Ireland and delivered nationally with the support of Local Sports Partnerships and the HSE. The goal of the grants scheme is to encourage older people to get involved in sport and physical activity in their communities and the funds allocated are used by groups to buy equipment, run sports events or to try new activities. 

Over €5.5million has been awarded in almost 12,000 grants during its lifetime. This year saw a record number of applications and of grants awarded and the number of groups applying continues to grow since the launch of the National Grant Scheme in 2001.


For media queries and local case studies please contact Anne Kearney, Age & Opportunity on 086 847 9563 or by email  

Photos available for distribution from Tommy Clancy on 087 230 9947 or by email

About Go for Life
Go for Life is the national programme for sport and physical activity for older people. Go for Life is an Age & Opportunity programme, funded by Sport Ireland. Further details about the Go for Life Programme can be found here  

The Go for Life Steering Committee is a committee of the Board of Age & Opportunity.  

About Age & Opportunity
Age & Opportunity is the national organisation that inspires everyone to reach their full potential as they age.  Age & Opportunity’s goal is to turn the period from age 50 onwards into one of the most satisfying times in people’s lives, by facilitating:

·    opportunities to engage in arts and cultural activities
·    opportunities for sport and physical activity
·    opportunities to learn and be involved as active citizens

Age & Opportunity aims to contribute to changes in attitudes and practices in relation to ageing and older people in Ireland such that as people age they can develop their full potential on three levels – the personal, the societal and the civic - to the extent that each individual chooses. 

About Sport Ireland

Sport Ireland plans, leads and co-ordinates the sustainable development of competitive and recreational sport in Ireland.

Sport Ireland's vision is one where:

·    sport contributes to enhancing the quality of Irish life and everyone is encouraged and valued in sport;
·    young people see sport participation as an integral and enjoyable part of their busy lives;
·    individuals can develop their sporting abilities and enhance their enjoyment, limited only by their talent and commitment;
·    Irish sportsmen and women achieve consistent world-class performance, fairly. 

Activities Funded by the Scheme
A wide range of physical activities will be supported by the 2017 grants and they include:

Go for Life Games Kitbags, Pickleball, Go for Life Care PALs Kitbags, Table Tennis Go for Life PALs equipment, Tennis, Sportsfests, Cycling, Salsa Dancing, Yoga, Fishing, Rowing, Tai Chi, Orienteering, Ballroom Dancing, Badminton, Bowling, Zumba Dancing, Line Dancing, Set Dancing, Aqua Aerobics, Swimming, Kurling, Pitch & Putt, Walking, Cornhole, Archery, Box Hockey