Beechmount Harriers, based in west Belfast, Craigavon Lakers Wheelchair Basketball Club, City of Derry Tennis Club and Lurgan Ladies Hockey Club have each scored £500 for their club as winners of the Northern Ireland-wide Boost Sport Grant initiative.
The Boost Sport Grant initiative has, since 2020, rewarded 11 community-based grassroots clubs by providing cash boosts towards their aspiring goals.
Applications were received from all over the Province in 2021 before a judging panel whittled it down to four deserving amateur clubs which would receive an essential £500 boost in funds.
Beechmount Harriers, a non-profit athletics club based in Belfast, relies solely on its volunteers for help and currently it only has one fully qualified coach for both its athletic teams.
With the help of the Boost Sport grant, the club will develop the coaching skills of several enthusiastic parent volunteers and progress them from supervisors to fully licensed, trained coaches.
Another grassroots club that stood out for the judges was Craigavon Lakers Wheelchair Basketball Club.
The club will use its grant to purchase new equipment such as basketballs, resistance bands and tactic boards as the Lakers are expecting an influx of new members following a massive recruitment drive.
It was the development of hockey for young girls that caught the judge’s attention about Lurgan Ladies Hockey Club.
It is passionate about growing its teams and maintaining the success of the senior club.
The club has a thriving membership exceeding 200 and the grant will be used to buy desperately needed hockey balls.
The fourth and final grant recipient is City of Derry Tennis Club, which will purchase some portable nets, rackets and balls to create pop up tennis courts across the city, bringing the sport to a whole new generation.
Adrian Hipkiss, Marketing & International Business Director at Boost, explained: “At Boost we pride ourselves on working with and supporting communities at a grass-roots level so we’re thrilled to announce the winners of our Boost Sport Grant initiative.
“All the judges were so impressed by the applications, and it was very fulfilling to hear what each club hoped to achieve.
“This is the perfect opportunity for us to give back to local amateur clubs and teams who can use the money to help reach their goals and it is clear Northern Ireland has amateur sporting talent in abundance, which we are delighted for the opportunity to help nurture.
“On behalf of Boost we want to wish all the Boost Sport Grant recipients congratulations and good luck for the future,” continued Adrian.
Boost Drinks was established in 2001 after founder and MD Simon Gray saw the opportunity to offer consumers a great quality energy drink at a fraction of the price of other brands at that time.
Two years later, in 2003, Boost was launched in Northern Ireland.