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Junior Minister praises work GOALS programme and calls for grants scheme

20 June, 2013 - by Jennifer McCann

Sinn Féin MLA and Junior Minister Jennifer McCann has praised the way in which sport motivates young people to play a more active role in communities.

Speaking at the launch of the GOALS evaluation in Parliament Buildings the West Belfast MLA said:

“Programmes like GOALS (Generating Opportunities and Learning Through Sport) not only provide young people with the opportunity to enjoy sport but also enables them to improve their self esteem and confidence through team building and working alongside other young people.

“Football clubs and indeed all sports clubs have a very significant role to play in our communities. In the right context they can provide an opportunity to bring people together, break down barriers and help build relationships, particularly between young people from different backgrounds. 

“Many small soccer and other sporting and community groups rely solely on the commitment and dedication of volunteers to run the clubs and the members subscription fees to pay for equipment and transport costs. 

“Their work keeps young people physically and mentally healthy, steers them away from alcohol, drugs and risk taking behaviour.

“I urge the Executive to bring forward a small grants scheme, which will provide the finance to enable these clubs to grow and develop so they can help and support more of our young people.”

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