Still Time to Apply for Sports and Wellness Fund 2024

Posted on 28 Jun 2024

The Sports and Wellness Fund aims to support social innovations that use sports and physical activity programmes to have a demonstrable impact on improving mental health outcomes and social inclusion for people and communities in Ireland. 

With the Fund set to close to applications on 12 July, now is the time to take action!

Ireland has generally good health outcomes, but there are significant behavioural health risks and high rates of mental illness. Ireland, like many other nations, is grappling with the health implications brought about by rising rates of sedentary lifestyles, obesity, and associated health issues. Physical inactivity has been identified as a significant risk factor for mental health and wellbeing in Ireland. As individuals come together in a supportive and inclusive sporting community, the positive impact can go beyond the playing field, promoting social cohesion in communities. This holistic approach recognises the multifaceted nature of wellbeing and highlights the importance of addressing various dimensions to achieve lasting positive outcomes in Irish society.

This two-year Fund will offer a package of cash grants and non-financial supports to up to 5 awardees to help them scale and maximise their impact in promoting healthier lives, increased levels of mental health and wellbeing and improved social cohesion.

Key Objectives of the Fund:

  • Positive Mental Wellbeing: The primary goal of the fund is to support sports programmes that have a demonstrable impact on improving mental health outcomes. This includes reducing stress, anxiety, and depression while promoting overall psychological resilience.
  • Enhancing Social Inclusion: The fund would facilitate the development and implementation of sports programmes that actively promote social inclusion. This involves reaching marginalised populations, promoting diversity, and ensuring accessibility for individuals with varying abilities.

Sports and Wellness Core Criteria

  • Have been operating for at least 1 year and provide evidence that it is up and running, or has been tested at least in a minimal way – we would encourage organisations from an early Lifecycle stage to apply.
  • Be able to secure philanthropic funding commitments totalling at least €100,000 (€50,000 per annum).

What do successful applicants get?

  • A minimum 50% uplift on funding secured*
  • A place on Rethink Ireland’s Accelerator Programme
  • A tailored non-financial supports package to support them in improving their financial sustainability, including supports in the areas of financial/business modelling, market assessments and growth strategies
  • Access to Rethink Ireland’s networks.

* The Rethink Ireland Board will decide how much money to award, which may be less than the amount requested. The final amount of the award will depend on how many organisations are selected.

Learn More

Full application details and guidelines available here: