Twelve non-profit and voluntary organisations have been shortlisted by the Coca-Cola Thank You Fund for projects with ideas to get people more active, more often. Grants totalling €125,000 will be awarded to five winning organisations in November following a competitive judging process.

The shortlisted projects involve a range of sporting codes from basketball, athletics, camogie, hockey and tennis, to cycling, canoeing, and gymnastics. A mix of regional organisations including Tipperary and Donegal youth clubs have been shortlisted as well as national affiliated sports organisations such as Basketball Ireland and Camogie Ireland. The applicants aim to reach a range of demographics from Fit@50 projects to those aimed specifically towards getting women more active. There is also creative approach to getting people moving by Arthritis Ireland’s Give it a Tri triathlon campaign as well as Cancer Focus Northern Ireland’s dragon boat racing initiative.

Louise Sullivan, ‎Public Affairs & Communications Director, Coca-Cola HBC Ireland and Northern Ireland said: “Every non-profit and voluntary organisation which applied to the Fund this year made a strong case for funding and while congratulating the twelve that have today moved forward to the shortlist, we would like to thank all the organisations which took the time to apply. The responses we received this year – the fifth year of the Fund – displayed immense creativity and ingenuity in responding to our aim of getting people more active, more often.

“The positive reaction the Fund has received speaks to a demand for innovative programmes offering engaging and accessible ways for the public to get active in their local communities across Ireland and Northern Ireland. The five organisations which will ultimately win funding this year will build on the positive legacy left by previous Fund beneficiaries, which together have encouraged more than 30,000 people to get active since 2011,” she concluded.

The judging panel includes Niamh Gavin, Business Services Manager at The Wheel; Susan Grady, board member at Ireland Active; Lorraine Ho, founder of Bootcamp Ireland; Roy Millar MBE, Chairman of the Northern Ireland Sports Forum; Niall Moyna, Professor in the School of Health and Human Performance and a member of the Centre for Preventive Medicine in DCU; Conn McCluskey, Business Services Manager, Federation of Irish Sport; Denis Toomey, president of Cycling Ireland and Ciara Cashen, Public Affairs & Communications Manager, Coca-Cola Hellenic Ireland.

Each of the shortlisted organisations will deliver an elevator pitch to the judging panel and will field a series of questions to determine which projects receive the funding. The details of the five winning organisations which will each receive €25,000 will be announced in October.

The complete list of shortlisted organisations for 2015 are:

·  Tipperary Regional Youth Service for Activ8 - a physical health challenge aimed at young adults in Tipperary.

·  Canoeing Ireland for Blueway 10K - an ambitious project specifically aimed at promoting an alternative fitness routine to the indoor gym workout, while highlighting the incredible blueway (water activity trail) infrastructure that is being developed in Ireland.

·  Arthritis Ireland for Give it a Tri – an event seeking to raise awareness around the importance of physical activity not only for people affected by arthritis but for the entire community.

·  Cancer Focus Northern Ireland for its dragon boat paddling project – providing cancer survivors with an opportunity to participate in dragon boat racing.

·  Donegal Youth Service for Shake Up Sports – engaging young people from youth clubs in taster sessions, where they can try out alternatives to the mainstream competitive sports.

·  Basketball Ireland for an initiative introducing basketball coaching in GAA clubs across the country.

·  The Camogie Association for Teen Cluster Camogie – providing activities and training for female teenagers within 100 club communities.

·  Athletics Ireland for Fit@50 – creating recreational walking groups based in athletics clubs that can provide safe walking environments for the over 50s.

·  Cycling Ireland for its Bike Hub Project - promoting safe and effective cycling activity among: women’s leisure and commuting groups, active retirees, and sedentary young adults.

·  Gymnastics Ireland for Gymnastics for All Bootcamp – a 12-week programme, focusing on promoting fun, fitness and friendship in clubs nationwide and culminating in a display event in Dublin.

·  Irish Women's Masters Hockey for its project, a Masters League, which would take place across each province, with players encouraged to sign up for a team and play for eight weeks. This activity would build up to a central final tournament day for regional winners.

·  Tennis Ireland for its initiative enabling access to tennis for people with intellectual disabilities. 40 professional tennis coaches in Ireland will be trained in special needs tennis coaching.

More information about the Coca-Cola Thank You Fund is available at www.coca-cola.ie/thankyou.

ENDS

For further information please contact:

Suzanne Sullivan, Q4PR, 01-4751444/086-3797291
ssullivan@q4pr.ie

Cillian Murphy, Q4PR, 01-4751444/086-4107750
cillian@q4pr.ie