In 2015, the Coca-Cola Thank You Fund will once again award €125,000 in five separate €25,000 grants to organisations that have a new idea to encourage people to be more active, more often. Michael Ring TD, Minister of State for Tourism and Sport, joined Derval O’Rourke and Paddy Barnes, this year’s Coca-Cola Thank You Fund ambassadors, to launch the funding opportunity and encourage all non-profit and voluntary organisations in Ireland and Northern Ireland to apply now at www.coca-cola.ie/thankyou.
Minister Ring said: ‘The benefits of leading a more active healthy lifestyle cannot be overstated, and I am pleased to see the range of exciting and diverse activity projects that have come through the Coca-Cola Thank You Fund since its launch in 2011. I urge all non-profit organisations across the country to think about creative ways to get their communities more active and consider applying for funding.”
Ciara Cashen, Public Affairs and Communications Manager at Coca-Cola HBC Ireland, said: “This year we’d like to hear from a broad range of organisations with novel ideas to motivate their community, or indeed the whole country, to get moving. Most importantly, we’re searching for organisations that have the passion and energy to get a new project off the ground and get people excited about taking part. Since 2011, we are proud to have granted half a million Euro in funding to more than 40 groups across Ireland and Northern Ireland. We supported five fantastic projects in 2014 and we hope to see their success replicated with five more this year.”
A new Kayak Instructor Training Initiative from Canoeing Ireland, which received one of five €25,000 grants awarded by the Coca-Cola Thank You Fund last year, also launched this month. The project is partnering with five youth services to discover forty young people with the potential to be local activity leaders and is training them to become kayak instructors. The participants will receive intensive weekly training over the course of nine-months free of charge. Those who successfully complete the programme will be able to train hundreds of young people from disadvantaged areas in the sport of kayaking through the youth services.
Benny Cullen, Development Officer, Canoeing Ireland, said: “Canoeing Ireland was fortunate to receive €25,000 from the Coca-Cola Thank You Fund in 2014. The funding was a real lifeline, as we couldn’t have gotten this initiative up and running without the support. The beauty of our project is that the training we provide will have a long-term impact, enabling our leaders to pass on their skills and love of kayaking to many more young people in the area. Hopefully in time some will train as leaders themselves. I would strongly encourage any organisation with a new idea to consider applying for funding this year. It has been a very rewarding experience for all involved from Caneoing Ireland”
The deadline for applications is Monday 29th June at 6pm. After that, a shortlist of twelve organisations will be announced and those groups will be invited to meet the judging panel. The Federation of Irish Sport and The Northern Ireland Sports Forum are once again official partners of the Coca-Cola Thank You Fund. Applications can be made at www.coca-cola.ie/thankyou.