Donegal TD Joe McHugh has welcomed almost €130,000 in sports funding for four projects in the county today.

The Donegal Sports Partnership funding includes €70,333 for the development of a new Community Sport and Physical Activity Hub (CSPAH) at Bluestack, Donegal Town.

Minister McHugh also welcomed €35,000 for the further development of the existing CSPAH in Maghery, €13,333 for Donegal’s Community Coaching Programme and €10,000 for the Youth Leadership Programme.

“The funding is part of a €2.9M allocation nationally from Minister for Sport Brendan Griffin,” said Minister McHugh.

“This is great news for the county today, with funding allocated to National Physical Activity Plan measures for disadvantaged communities and will be administered by Sport Ireland.

"The new Community Sport and Physical Activity Hub in Donegal is one of nine announced nationwide today. The additional funding to the existing hub at Maghery is also very welcome.

“I want to thank all those involved including the Donegal Sports Partnership for their vision and energy.”

The findings of the tenth annual Sport Ireland Strategic, Planning, Evaluation and Knowledge (SPEAK) Report on the national network of Local Sports Partnerships (LSPs) were also published today.

The SPEAK report provides an overview of the work of the 29 LSPs across the country, and highlights the innovative good practice projects and programmes that are being operated locally.

Almost €17.2 million was invested in the LSP network, including benefit in kind funding.

Commenting on Report, Minster Griffin said: “The Local Sports Partnership Network carries out vital work in increasing participation, particularly among those sectors of society which are underrepresented in sport.

"This work is making a substantial contribution to the health and welfare of individuals, communities and the nation. Today’s report puts a spotlight on the many innovative local projects which are being undertaken by the Local Sports Partnerships across the country which enable all citizens the opportunity to take part in a wide range of sport and physical activities.”

Chief Executive of Sport Ireland, John Treacy, said: “One of Sport Ireland’s key priorities for the LSP network is the sustainable development within the local sports infrastructure; this report shows that LSPs are doing vital work with clubs and groups ensuring that structures are in place to allow people across the LSP target groups to participate in sport. I would like to thank all of the agencies, groups and individuals who have contributed to this report, and to those who were involved in the delivery of the programmes and projects at local level.”

Sport Ireland Director of Participation and Ethics, Dr. Una May, added: “One of the key aims of Sport Ireland is increasing participation across every age group and from all social backgrounds throughout Ireland. The report highlights the great work by the LSPs in removing barriers that hinder participation in sport and physical activity. Sport Ireland, through the Local Sports Partnership network, will continue to take a strategic approach with regard to programme delivery, continuing to place a strong emphasis on monitoring and evaluation of the programmes delivered.”

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