Age & Opportunity announces grants of

Age & Opportunity announces grants of over €300,000 to promote physical activity among older people

24 Apr 2024
Stephen Walsh

Age & Opportunity announces grants of over €300,000 to promote physical activity among older people 

  • Funds support diverse activities nationwide – from chair yoga to Tai Chi, table tennis to walking hockey
  • Over €7.4million awarded to date by the Age & Opportunity Active National Grant Scheme
  • 1,167 grants allocated this year

Age & Opportunity is today (Wednesday 24th of April 2024) marking the distribution of its Active National Grant that provides significant funding for sport and physical activity amongst older people. 

The Grant Scheme is a combined initiative from Age & Opportunity and Sport Ireland with funding provided by the Government of Ireland. This year it is providing over €300,000 to support sport and physical activities run by 1,167 groups and organisations. These range from Active Retirement Groups, ICAs, Men’s/Women’s Sheds, Physical Activity Leaders (PALs), care settings and other sports and social groups. 

Minister of State for Sport, Physical Education and the Gaeltacht, Thomas Byrne TD, said: “Today’s funding announcement is very welcome news as the Government endeavours to provide people of all ages with the opportunity to participate in sport and physical activity. The Age & Opportunity Active National Grant Scheme has a positive impact on communities across Ireland and helps to provide opportunities for older people to get involved in sport and physical activity. I want to thank Age & Opportunity for their excellent work and I wish them continued success in their valuable work for communities all across Ireland.”

By financially supporting organisations to buy equipment and host activities specifically designed for older people, the grant helps older people reap the health benefits of being active. One Nursing Home in Cork is sourcing equipment to continue hosting their annual Olympic Theme Event which they hosted for first time last year with help of the grant. This year they are looking to add golf onto the list of activities.


Speaking about the grant, Sport Ireland CEO, Dr Úna May commented: Today’s grant funding is helping to create an Ireland where more older people can be more active and more connected. The long-running Age & Opportunity Active National Grant Scheme has proven an excellent resource and I also want to acknowledge our own national network of Local Sports Partnerships who do wonderful work in communities across the country.”

Karen Horgan, CEO of Age & Opportunity, welcomed the ongoing partnership with Sport Ireland.


“Today’s grant funding is helping us create an Ireland where more older people are more active and more connected.We are delighted to note the number of successful applications from sports clubs who are seeing an increase in the numbers of older people joining their activities. Indeed many of them are specifically organising courses to cater for older persons.” 


“We are also delighted that this year 494 successful applications were from designated disadvantaged areas. In addition, there were 105 successful applications from care settings. The renewed focus on providing meaningful activities in these settings is particularly welcome given the impact that Covid-19 has had on older people in these settings.”


Of today’s funding allocations, grants were awarded to 20 Local Sports Partnerships, 211 Irish Countrywomen’s Association Guilds, 327 Active Retirement Groups, 57 Men’s sheds and 19 Women’s sheds.


Every year approximately 32,000 older people take part in physical activity funded by the Grant SchemeActivities funded include aqua aerobics, rowing, dancing, cycling, clay pigeon shooting, bowling, self-defence, walking tennis, tai chi, walking and weight-lifting. 

For a snapshot of the Age & Opportunity Active National Grant Scheme’s impact on people’s health and well-being watch our video here.

The Grant Scheme is part of Age & Opportunity’s Active programme, funded by Sport Ireland, and delivered nationwide with the support of the HSE and Local Sports Partnerships. 

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For any media, interview requests and/or photographs, please contact Melissa Byrne on 0876933690 or email


About Age & Opportunity

Age & Opportunity is the national organisation that provides a range of opportunities for older people who want to get more involved in arts and culture, sport and physical activity, civic engagement and personal development. Our aim enable the best possible quality of life for us all as we age, where we can be more active, more visible, more creative, more connected and more confident.


About Age & Opportunity Active

Age & Opportunity Active is the national programme for sport and physical activity for older people, funded by Sport Ireland and the HSE. Age & Opportunity Active is designed to get us more active and participate in recreational sport and physical activity. Further details can be found on  

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.