Upper Bann MLA Jonathan Buckley has welcomed the Communities Minister’s announcement that she intends to re-open the Sports Hardship Fund for a third time on Thursday 1st October.
The DUP MLA said, “Within the Communities Committee I have been pressing the Minster regularly on the support available for sports clubs across Northern Ireland. The Minister must ensure that clubs right across the sporting spectrum receive the support they so badly need at this time.
It is vital that clubs which have been experiencing hardship apply for this funding, and they should be aware that whilst the £2,000 grant is available for new applicants, those which have previously benefited can still receive £1,000 if still experiencing hardship.
There have been many pressures created because of Covid-19 and our response to the virus. However, I am very aware for example of the pressures facing many football teams at all levels, and the comments from Gerard Lawlor where he described the Irish League as “staring into the abyss”.
These teams are at the heart of communities across Northern Ireland and it is important that we do everything possible to ensure their survival until we emerge from this pandemic and the restrictions imposed.”