Re-opening of Sports Hardship Fund

Shaun Oneill

Reporter:

Shaun Oneill

Email:

sport@ballymenaguardian.co.uk

SPORT NI welcomes the announcement today (Tuesday, July 21) by Communities Minister, Carál NiChuilin regarding the re-opening of the Sports Hardship Fund; to help sports clubs and other organisations delivering sporting activities, who are experiencing financial hardship.

The Sports Hardship Fund initially opened on 14 April and has provided support totalling £1.245M to help over 600 sports clubs maintain facilities during the lockdown.

Today, a further £2 million investment has been announced, comprising £1 million to help the sector deal with the impact of lockdown restrictions through the Sports Hardship Fund and £1 million to provide essential PPE for sports clubs.

The Sports Hardship Fund will re-open for new applicants via the Sport NI website today (Tuesday 21st July) and clubs will be able to submit applications for support up to £2,000.

Packs of PPE equipment will soon be available for sports clubs and further details on how to register interest for the PPE pack will be issued to the sector.

The Sports Hardship Fund has been developed to help sporting organisations meet their obligations, and in particular fixed costs, which are no longer supported with revenue, as a result of coronavirus.

The fund is only open to new applicants. Organisations should not apply if they have:

· Already received a grant through the Sports Hardship Fund;

· Been unsuccessful with an application to the Sports Hardship Fund; or

· Received grant funding through the Department for Economy Retail Hospitality, Tourism and Leisure Grant (£25k).

This fund will close for completed applications at 12 noon on Wednesday, August 5.

Antoinette McKeown, CEO said “Clubs are at the heart of our communities, as we have seen in their valued community response to the COVID19 crisis.

“Clubs are also central in helping our society emerge and strive once the current lockdown phase ends. We will continue to lead and support clubs to connect and include all people, to give us a sense of belonging and wellbeing in our communities through sport. The Sports Hardship Fund is critical in supporting our clubs to survive”.

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