Sport Northern Ireland and the Department for Communities have marked Women’s Sport Week 2017 by announcing investment of nearly £330,000 over the next year into creating opportunities for women and girls to get active and develop leadership skills through sport and physical activity.

The ‘Active Fit and Sporty’ project, which originally launched in 2016, has so far provided over 3,000 women across Northern Ireland the chance to take part in a range of grassroots sports initiatives. This latest investment of £329,395 into the project will see the Department for Communities and Sport Northern Ireland continue to collaborate with six delivery partners in promoting female sport within the sport, disability sport, education, community and voluntary sectors.

The funding announcement was made at a ‘Get Fit’ Women’s Rugby Bootcamp at Girdwood Community Hub, Belfast, delivered by WISPA (Women in Sport and Physical Activity) and Ulster Rugby, which was initially developed through the ‘Active Fit and Sporty’ project.

Sport Northern Ireland Chair George Lucas said:

“Sport Northern Ireland is committed to supporting women and girls to enjoy, engage and excel in sport. Women’s Sport Week kicks off what will be a terrific summer for female sport in Northern Ireland. While we look forward to the Women’s Rugby World Cup and the UEFA European Women’s Under-19 Championship, it is also important to recognise and celebrate grassroots initiatives like this Bootcamp delivered by WISPA and Ulster Rugby. These opportunities, and the leaders who deliver them, are essential to promoting sustained female participation in sport in the months and years ahead.

 “That’s why Sport Northern Ireland is delighted to be announcing this new investment into the ‘Active Fit and Sporty’ project, and why we look forward to continuing to work with the Department for Communities, WISPA NI, and our other partners to ensure more women and girls are able to enjoy all the benefits that come from involvement in sport.”

Welcoming the announcement, Audrey Barr (Project Manager, WISPA NI) added:

“We are excited to be delivering this all female boot camp in partnership with Ulster Rugby as part of the ‘Active Fit Sporty’ project. This is a great example of partnership working at community level, encouraging and supporting women to become more physically active and also raise the profile of the Women’s Rugby World Cup coming to Belfast. Our aim is to address the needs and abilities of local women by providing fun and accessible programmes of a range of physical activity. We are delighted to have secured funding through Sport NI and Department for Communities to continue to deliver in local areas across Belfast and we look forward to the year ahead.”