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Background to the Local Sports Partnership Initiative

In the Irish Sports Council's strategy "A New Era for Sport 2000-2002", the Council proposed to establish a nationwide network of Local Sports Partnerships to create a national structure to co-ordinate and promote the development of sport at local level.

The ISC identified that the effective development of sport and recreation at local level would be best delivered through the adoption of a partnership approach between all bodies and organisations involved in the delivery of sport and recreation locally.

The Kildare Sports Partnership was established in 2001 through a private company model. Following The Fitzpatrick Report in 2005, which looked at Sports Partnerships nationally, it recommended that Sports Partnerships should be established as sub committees of the County Development Boards. In March 2010 Kildare Sports Partnership became part of the Kildare County Council and the County Development Board structure.

On the 4th of April 2012 Kildare Sports Partnership launched its Strategic Plan 2012-2016.

Aims and Expected Outcomes

 The key aims of the local sports partnerships are to increase participation in sport and physical activity especially amongst specific target groups and to ensure that local resources are put to their best possible use. 

The outcomes that the ISC seek from local sports partnerships are:

  • Enhanced planning of sport at local level
  • Increased levels of local participation, especially amongst specific target groups - older people, girls and women, people with disabilities, unemployed people and those who live in identified disadvantaged communities
  • Enhanced local coach deployment
  • Club development
  • Volunteer training
  • Local Directories of sports bodies and facilities
  • Better use of existing facilities
  • Clear priorities for local facility provision and improvement
  • School/club/community and possibly school - National Governing Body link
  • Local sports events

The three main functions of LSP's are summarised by the ISC as follows:

Information:

- To provide information on sport and physical activity

Education:

- To provide/support quality opportunities for education and training at local level

Implementation:

- To implement a locally developed Strategic Plan which will include the implementation of national programmes at local level

Network of Local Sports Partnerships

The first eight partnerships, in a national network of Local Sports Partnerships, were launched in May 2001. The initial areas selected to pilot the programme were; Clare, Kildare, Donegal, Laois, North Tipperary, Roscommon, Sligo, and Fingal, Co. Dublin. Then in June 2002, four more Partnerships were launched in Waterford, Meath, Cork, and Limerick City. Following their commitment with their initiative "Sport for Life 2003-2006", the ISC established an additional four LSP's in Kerry, Kilkenny, Mayo, and Westmeath in 2003.

There is now a network of 33 Local Sports Partnerships around Ireland. The following LSP's are in operation: Carlow, Cavan, Clare, Cork City, County Cork, Donegal, Dublin City, Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown, Fingal, Galway City, Galway County, Kerry, Kildare, Kilkenny, Laois, Leitrim, Limerick City, Limerick County, Longford, Louth, Mayo, Meath, Monaghan, North Tipperary, Offaly, Roscommon, Sligo, South County Dublin, South Tipperary, Waterford, Westmeath, Wexford and Wicklow.