Vhi gives sporting chance to young people living in disadvantaged communities

Members News - Community - Mar 02, 2020

Business in the Community IrelandFive youth groups were today awarded funding by Vhi to deliver a ‘Run for Fun’ programme as the company seeks to give a sporting chance to over 100 young people from underserved communities in Dublin, Donegal, Kilkenny and Limerick.

The ‘Run for Fun’ programme was created by Vhi, in partnership with Irish Youth Foundation, to empower and build the self-esteem of young people through a dedicated fitness and nutrition programme.

‘Run for Fun’ launched as a pilot in 2017 and since then has seen 125 young people take part with 1,000 weeks of training completed across eight different youth groups. Following the success of the programme it was decided to open it up for applications to engage a wider pool of young people and generate greater awareness for the programme. Youth groups were invited to apply for funding in November and following a judging session five groups were awarded funding.

The five successful youth groups include:

  • Ossory Youth, from Kilkenny
  • SMILE School Completion Programme, from Limerick
  • Learning Hub from Limerick
  • CDP na Rosann, from Donegal
  • Just ASK, from Dublin

Each of these groups have received grants of €5,000 to deliver the programme to the young people in their community over an eight-week period. Through the course of the programme participants will train with fitness instructors, build up their fitness level while also learning about healthy eating. At the end of the programme they will be encouraged to take part in a 5km parkrun.

Speaking today Declan Moran, Director of Marketing & Business Development, Vhi said: “Getting involved in sport can be difficult for many young people who may have no previous experience or face social barriers that deter them from participating. That is where ‘Run for Fun’ comes in. Through the programme, young people living in underserved communities can see first-hand the benefits that running has on their health and wellbeing and learn about the importance of staying healthy. Building on our existing partnerships with Vhi Women’s Mini Marathon and parkrun, we are seeing a new generation enjoying the benefits of running and leading an active lifestyle.

“At the end of each Run for Fun programme Vhi employees join the young people and take part in the local parkrun with them. To see the pride on the faces of the young people when they complete the 5km is what it’s all about. We’re looking forward to seeing how the five successful groups progress over the next eight weeks and joining them at a parkrun in the coming weeks.”

Lucy Masterson, CEO, Irish Youth Foundation, said: “We’re delighted to be working with Vhi again this year on the Run for Fun programme. Through the Run for Fun programme Vhi have highlighted how important it is to them to level the playing field for young people across Ireland living in underserved communities. This programme is an excellent opportunity for these young people to boost their self-esteem, build their resilience and reach their full potential. The impact of this programme over the past three years has been fantastic and by opening the Run for Fun to new community groups, we will be able to create positive change for even more young people throughout Ireland.”

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