At the launch of the Volunteers in Sport Awards last December were the Minister of State for Sport and the Gaeltacht, Jack Chambers, Federation of Irish Sport CEO, Mary O’Connor, and Irish canoeist Jenny Egan and her father Tom Egan, past recipient of the Volunteers in Sport Award for Co. Kildare. The closing date for nominations has been extended until February 8. Photo: Sportsfile

Deadline extended to nominate Mayo volunteers who make sport happen

The Federation of Irish Sport has announced the official support of the National Network of 29 Local Sports Partnerships for the 2022 Volunteers in Sport Awards.

The nationwide awards recognise individual volunteers at sports clubs and organisations across the country who give freely of their time and energy to their local club to help make sport happen.

The 2022 Volunteers in Sport Awards, supported by the National Network of 29 Local Sports Partnerships, will be celebrated on March 22 at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Blanchardstown.

In light of the of this announcement, the closing date will now be extended to Wednesday, February 8. Nominations can be made by completing a short online entry form here.

The National Network of Local Sports Partnerships has a huge presence in sport at a grassroots level engaging with local communities to promote physical activity for all ages and abilities, removing barriers and increasing inclusivity. They offer a wide variety of opportunities to access training, education and targeted programmes and initiatives in sport.

Mary O’Connor, CEO of the Federation of Irish Sport, said: “We are absolutely delighted to have the support of the Local Sports Partnership Network. Volunteerism in sport forms the foundation of sport the length and breadth of the country. The LSPs are in the heart of communities, supporting all sports at grassroots level and encouraging physical activity for all. We believe their involvement in the awards will deepen the appreciation of volunteers locally.”

Graham Russell, head of sport with Louth Sports Partnership, added: “As a national network of 29 Local Sports Partnerships, we are thrilled to be able to come together to support the Volunteers in Sport Awards as they celebrate those who volunteer their time and energy for the good of their locality.

“Each Local Sports Partnerships proactively engages locally with sporting clubs and organisations as well as partnering with the National Governing Bodies of Sport to support local volunteers and encourage clubs and organisations locally to provide opportunities for everyone in the community to get involved in sport and physical activity, ensuring that sport is inclusive and accessible to all.”

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Each week over 450,000 people volunteer to help make sport happen. Without them there would not be teams coached, matches played, pitches prepared, races run or courts kept in condition. Their efforts are worth over €1.5 billion to the economy.

This year's awards will see 32 county winners decided and an overall award for Outstanding Achievement. Each county winner will receive a commemorative prize.