Pictured: Limerick Sports Partnership launch 2016-2020 Strategic Plan in the PESS Building at the University of Limerick, Phelim Macken, LSP Sports Coordinator, Jaimie McMullen Chairperson LSP, Cora Foley LSP Board Member, John Treacy CEO Sport Ireland, Una May, Sport Ireland.
Picture: Keith Wiseman
Increasing participation in sport and physical activity is the central pillar of a new Limerick Sports strategy unveiled last night by the Limerick Sports Partnership (LSP). The Strategic Plan is the first such framework outlined by the Limerick Sports Partnership, a unit of Limerick City and County Council, following the merger of the city and county Local Sports Partnerships in January 2014.
The central aim of Limerick Sports Partnership, which is supported by Sport Ireland, is ‘Getting Limerick Active’ with Limerick Sports Strategy and focuses on increasing participation in sport through ensuring that local resources are used to best effect. It acts as a mechanism to co-ordinate the efforts of all key influencers to further develop sporting opportunities for local communities and as a vital link between the needs of local people, the work of other sports organisations/officers and national agencies and state agencies.
Launching the plan was CEO of Sport Ireland John Tracey, a man who enjoyed one of his greatest days in track and field in Limerick in 1979 when he won the second of his two World Cross Country titles. Describing the strategic framework as an “innovative and visionary strategic plan”, he said it would build on the excellent work achieved to date by LSP.
“This development of a new strategic plan and vision for Limerick Sports Partnership is based on leveraging off past successes and adopting a new innovative framework for increasing participation in sport and physical activity across Limerick,” he said.
“The achievement of the overall strategy aims to build on the benefits accrued over the life of the first strategy and to ensure that the Local Sports Partnerships grows in strength and is the key agency in providing opportunities for more people to become involved in sport and physical activity in the next few years and beyond.”
Welcoming the plan, Mayor of Limerick City and County Cllr Liam Galvin said, “The importance of this strategic plan and generally the work of the Limerick Sports Partnership really cannot be overstated. Every member of society, irrespective of age or disposition, must be given an opportunity to participate in sport and this strategy is very much built around that.
“Research has shown that aside also from the personal toll, obesity is costing the state €1.13bn annually and this strategy and the LSP will help combat that locally. The outcomes from this will be huge and if you think alone of the mental health benefits from people participating in sport, then the return on this investment by the local authority, Sport Ireland and LSP will be unquestionable.”
Addressing the launch, Phelim Macken, Sports Coordinator with LSP, said, “We want to continue to provide quality participation opportunities which are inclusive of all ages, abilities and fitness levels. By achieving this we hope to inform, educate and enable the people of Limerick to live a positive, healthy and balanced lifestyle.
“Central to the success of Limerick Sports Partnership has been the strong involvement, support and investment by our partners, agencies, stakeholders and community organisations. A partnership approach to the planning, delivering and resourcing of LSP projects and programmes has resulted in a greater impact within the communities.”
Mr Macken said that the LSP is indebted to the many volunteers within sports clubs and community groups around Limerick who are crucial to providing regular Physical Activity and sporting opportunities for the public. Likewise, he thanked the Board of Directors and the Strategic Sub Committee for their unstinting support and contribution of time and effort to the workings of Limerick Sports Partnership, as well as Sport Ireland for ongoing financial and practical support including knowledge and leadership.
Thanking his own staff, he added, “Their outstanding drive, dedication and commitment guided by the Plan will assist in realising our goal of increased participation in Physical Activity across all age groups and gender in Limerick City and County.”
For more information and to find out about the Limerick Sports Strategy visit Limerick Sport Partnership site here
Read more on the I Love Limerick site here