A potential source of funding for handball clubs has today been launched.
The Kingspan Kickstart Sports Fund aims "to provide a launch pad for grassroots-level athletes, sports clubs and community sports facilities". Running on a quarterly basis, the Kingspan Kickstart Sports Fund will provide up to €1,000 / £850 per applicant, to help provide financial support for equipment, training, and other necessary resources.
Golfer Shane Lowry is an ambassador for the fund and claims that supporting grassroots levels is “vital” to continue the progression of all sports across the country.
“I started my career as an amateur golfer and only elected to become a professional in 2009 after I won the Irish Open,” the Co Offaly native explained.
“The support I received in the early days of my career was invaluable but there’s a lot more that could be done to underpin athletes and sports clubs – which is why I’m so pleased to be an ambassador for the Kingspan Kickstart Sports Fund.
“I know first-hand that competing at an amateur level can be incredibly tough, especially where finances are concerned. It’s our hope that this Fund will be able to give athletes and sports clubs across the country a much-needed boost.
“If sports are to continue to develop and grow in Ireland, we must support our sportspeople at a grassroots level, which in turn, will help to nurture the immense amount of home-grown talent that we have right here in Ireland.”
Applications for the first quarter of the Kingspan Kickstart Sports Fund are currently open and will run until the submission deadline of 1st July 2023. The second quarter deadline will be in October and so on.
Elsewhere, Kirsch Bowker, Global Head of Sponsorship at Kingspan added: “We are a long-standing supporter of Irish sports, establishing the Kingspan Kickstart Sports Fund is an important step for us.
“It’s no secret that sports at a professional level is largely well supported, but funding for grassroots level sports could be much improved. This is hugely important in terms of encouraging and supporting athletes and sporting clubs to progress and flourish.
“Shane is the perfect example of what amateur Irish athletes can achieve when they are given a helping hand. We want to help make a real difference to grassroots-level sports across Ireland and Northern Ireland, and we hope that the Kingspan Kickstart Sports Fund will help us to support many sportspeople to do just that.”
To apply for the Kingspan Kickstart Sports Fund, you must be an amateur athlete, sports club or community sports facility open to the whole community and based on the island of Ireland. Visit: www.kingspan-kickstart.com to fill out an application form and for further information.