45 innovative non-profit organisations promoting healthy and active living shortlisted for funding

Thursday 5th September 2013 - Michael Ring TD, Minister of State at the Department of Transport, Tourism & Sport, today announced the 45 non-profit organisations shortlisted to receive funding from the Coca‑Cola Thank You Fund 2013. The submitted projects were selected for their innovative thinking, ambition and for their ability to deliver on the goal of promoting healthy and active living within local communities in Ireland and Northern Ireland.

Members of the public are now being asked to vote for the project they determine to be most deserving of a grant from the €125,000 fund at www.coca-cola.ie/thankyou. Votes will be accepted up until midnight on Monday 30th September. One overall winner will be given €25,000 and ten other organisations will receive €10,000 each.

In May this year, the Coca‑Cola Thank You Fund put out a call inviting applications for funding for new projects that would promote an innovative approach to nutrition and activity. One of the criteria was that the project proposed would have the potential to be scaled for roll out across numerous communities. Each of the shortlisted entries takes a novel approach to encouraging communities to lead more balanced, healthy and active lifestyles. They range from Autism Assistance Dogs Ireland’s ‘Walk ‘n Wag’ initiative, where dog-owners will pledge to take a daily walk of at least thirty minutes with their dogs, to Waterford Gymnastic Club’s new fitness project promoting flexibility, strength and mental stimulation for young adults.

The shortlist was arrived at by a panel of expert judges made up of representatives from each of the Fund’s partners: The Federation of Irish Sport, The Wheel and the Northern Ireland Council for Voluntary Action, as well as from Coca‑Cola Ireland. The public vote will account for 50% of the total vote, with the judging panel awarding the remaining 50% of votes available. In addition to the Funds’ partners other judges include fitness expert Karl Henry, nutritionist Paula Mee and Fine Gael TD Eoghan Murphy. The 11 recipients of the grants will be announced in November 2013.

Minister Ring encouraged the public to log on and vote for the entry that will have the biggest impact in helping to increase activity levels and in helping to improve nutrition within local communities.

“The dynamism and innovative thinking on display in the shortlist for the Coca‑Cola Thank you Fund is truly remarkable, and is indicative of a health conscious populace unafraid of fresh thinking and replete with good ideas. It doesn’t matter if you haven’t played sport in years or have never grown a vegetable, there is certain to be a project that will generate your interest in taking exercise or improving your diet among the wide variety that made the shortlist. I would like to congratulate the representatives of all the non-profit organisations taking part in the Coca‑Cola Thank You Fund on their participation this year, and applaud Coca‑Cola for supporting the initiative. I would encourage everyone to log on to www.coca-cola.ie/thankyou before the end of September to select the best from a range of healthy living and activity initiatives proposed,” he said.

Erica Roseingrave, Public Affairs and Communications Manager, Coca‑Cola HBC Ireland, today commended the non-profit organisations featured on the shortlist.

“The 45 organisations that have been selected for the shortlist are to be congratulated. Hundreds of impressive entries were received and appraised by our judging panel. In the end we selected the projects that were the most innovative with the potential to make the maximum difference on the ground by capturing the imagination of communities. Now it’s the turn of the public to tell us which 11 are most likely to positively impact communities through an online vote. On behalf of Coca‑Cola Ireland and the Funds partners, I would like to wish all shortlisted non-profit organisations the best of luck.”

The complete Coca‑Cola Thank You Fund shortlist is available at www.coca-cola.ie/thankyou, and the public vote will remain open until midnight on Monday 30th September 2013.

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For more information, please contact:
Suzanne Sullivan, Q4 PR, 01-4751444 / 086-3797291

Notes to Editor: Judges for The Coca‑Cola Thank You Fund Include:

• Karl Henry, Fitness expert

• Paula Mee, nutritionist

• Deputy Eoghan Murphy, Fine Gael TD

• Sarah O’Connor, Federation of Irish Sport

• Niamh Gavin, The Wheel

• James Laverty, NICVA

The 45 shortlisted for the final stage include:

New Lodge Duncairn Community Health Centre

This programme will deliver a range of healthy eating programmes using local and cultural ingredients and will promote physical activity sessions-such as walking groups, dance, and aerobic exercise.

Liquid Therapy

Liquid Therapy is a mobile project that will deliver an expanded range of surf and water therapy clinics throughout the country by working with community groups.

Royal Mencap Society

Two "Get Set Go" events will be run in Belfast and Derry, enabling people with learning disabilities, and their families and carers, to participate in sporting activities and learn about getting and staying healthy.

Parkinson's Association of Ireland

The project will introduce set dancing classes across the country to assist people with Parkinson's and indeed anyone else who has an interest in dancing for better well-being.

Irish Basketball Association Ltd.

Basketball Ireland's National 3on3 Programme' will be rolled out on a national basis throughout local area boards. The games will be tournament based and aimed at young men and women.

Northern Ireland Forest School Association

Teachers and pupils from three schools will work with NIFSA over a 12 week period, walking to the local woodland every week to undertake inspirational tasks such as den building.

Droichead Arts Centre

This project will see a 'Street Circus Theatre for Young People' developed in Drogheda. Schools, youth groups and individuals will take part in contemporary circus workshops.

Northside Partnership Ltd.

People of all ages from Dublin 3, 5, 13 and 17 will be encouraged to lead more active and healthy lifestyles through community events and activities, healthy eating courses, and a newsletter.

Cobh Family Resource Centre Ltd.

Get Healthy Inside and Out' is a programme of classes that will run twice weekly for six weeks in the Centre. Topics will include healthy recipes and juices, and exercise instruction.

Korean Kickboxing Cabra

This project will enable a newly self-leased full time kickboxing academy space to be fitted out. It will operate as a 7 day-a-week training facility that will be open to the whole community.

Irish Hockey Association

H3, Healthy Heart Hockey, is a physical well-being programme that celebrates the benefits of active lifestyles, providing nutritional education and an opportunity to attend a local fun game-based festival.

New Communities Project

Cycle-It gives people the opportunity to give their old bikes a new life. Old, unwanted or damaged bikes will be refurbished and sold at affordable prices, promoting exercise and reducing waste.

The Corrymeela Community

‘Active Peace Adventure‘ will introduce a healthy and active lifestyle exercise challenge trail around the perimeter of Corrymeela’s residential centre in Ballycastle.

City of Dublin YMCA

City of Dublin YMCA Workshops with a nutritionist will be held for various groups and permanent ‘Healthy Eating Info Boards’ will be installed to further link healthy living and Dublin YMCA.

Liberties Community Training Centre

Under the 'Healthy Mind in a Healthy Body' programme, nutrition and exercise plans will be implemented across the Training Centre and an AED machine will be purchased.

Monaghan United FC

A female football development project will be developed. This will include the establishment of an academy and a league for female players in the North East locality.

Irish Dogs for the Disabled Ltd.

The Buddy Dog Program’ will target young adult males within Shelton Abbey open prison, teaching caring and responsibility through the Assistance dog training programme.

Parish Playground Committee

Sports Frenzy' will focus on maximising the use of the Multi-Use Games Area (MUGA), by engaging 16yrs+ to become Sports Leaders in the Community, delivering activities to different age groups.

Plurabelle Paddlers

Dragon boating is a water based team sport with a season that runs from late March until mid-October. The Plurabelle Paddler Winter Fitness Programme will provide land-based training in winter time.

GROW in Ireland

A roadshow will be organised to introduce GROW members to yoga as part of their programme of recovery. The roadshow will visit locations throughout Ireland over a 6 week period.

Tipperary Regional Youth Service

The Tailteann Games Project is based on the age old Gaelic tradition of community entertainment and participation. This project will deliver a 16-week alternative sports experience to 8 rural youth clubs.

Blue Teapot Theatre Company Ltd

Blue Teapot Theatre Company proposes to deliver a multi-week Physical Theatre Activity Programme at the Blue Teapot Theatre in Galway to adults with intellectual disabilities.

Monkstown Boxing Club

BoxClever' will consist of a 40 week development programme in partnership with Monkstown Community High School to deliver a newly developed non-contact boxing and after schools programme for Year 8 & 9 pupils.

Autism Assistance Dogs Ireland Ltd.

Through the ‘Walk n Wag’ initiative, dog-owners will pledge to take a daily walk of at least thirty minutes with their dogs. Every pledgor will receive a pedometer, High-Viz armband, wristband and dog bandana.

Disability Sports NI

The DSNI Boccia Programme is aimed at providing people with the highest levels of physical disabilities with an opportunity to take part in Boccia at a level of their choice.

Autism Initiatives NI

An Autism Surf Club will be established to provide ongoing lessons for young people (aged 12+) and adults with a diagnosis of ASC. It will cater to a wide array of support needs and levels.

The Camogie Association

The parents of camogie-playing girls (aged 12-14) will be encouraged to join their daughters and try out the sport through a 6 week programme that will include a focus on healthy eating.

Europa Donna Ireland Limited

This project will encourage breast cancer survivors to take part in dragon boating, a fun, new sport. Such physical activity helps improve survival rates of people with a diagnosis of Breast Cancer and can help with certain symptoms.

DIT Foundation

This is a collaborative project between DIT, Dublin City Council, Dublin City Sports Network and Whitefriar Aungier Area Community Council that aims to develop a range of sport and participation opportunities for disengaged young people.

Valentia Community Health and Welfare Association

An informative research area for youths in danger of becoming obese will be developed. Weekly informative classes in relation to general health, better lifestyle, increasing physical activity levels and nutritional guidance will be provided.

Naomh Padraig C.L.G. (Baile Cill Mhantain)

St Patricks GAA Club will provide structured coaching sessions, street leagues and games on the green with an emphasis on fitness, agility and skills. Tuition on proper diet and lifestyle will be included.

The Rediscovery Centre Limited

This project will promote active lifestyles for transition year students in schools in the Greater Dublin area by running one day bike servicing training workshops plus sustainable transport presentations in schools.

Tallaght Community Arts Centre Ltd

Street Arts Academy is an arts programme for young people aged 12 to 20 years that is rooted in dance. It will be extended regionally to encourage young people to be more physically and creatively active.

Dundalk Simon Community

The project will involve a 20-week programme focused on fitness and well-being. It will run over 3 mornings a week and will focus on improving fitness levels and promoting healthy lifestyles.

Trinity Gaels GAA Club

Through 'Give it a Go', boys aged between 13-19 who have very limited previous experience in the GAA will be invited to take part in a 6 month programme with Trinity Gaels' best coaches.

Inkwell Youth Group

Eat Well. Think Well. Be Well.' promotes healthy lifestyles among Irish university students. Through an upgrade to the training kitchen, this project will be better able to give students the knowledge and skills to eat well on a budget.

Louisburgh HQ

Teens and those in their 30s-40s who are not directly involved in physical activities such as swimming, hill-walking and surfing will be facilitated and educated on healthy and active lifestyles.

Verbal Arts Centre

This project will work with dementia patients building their mental and physical health and wellbeing. Participants will be encouraged to share and discuss experiences from their past.

Waterford Gymnastics Club

This project is a hybrid of gymnastics and general sport fitness for young adults. A new fitness regime will be rolled out promoting flexibility, strength and mental stimulation.


The programme will involve a whole lifestyle approach for overweight teenagers including activity sessions, non-exercise activity sessions such as drama, as well as a series of lifestyle sessions addressing diet and nutrition.

Listowel Community Centre

This initiative will enhance mental resilience through active lifestyle coaching in secondary schools, focusing on transition year students in ten schools across the county for ten weeks to permanently affect healthy and active lifestyle practices.

Irish Orienteering Association

Transition year students will be trained to become orienteering instructors, passing on their skills to beginners within their schools or community, and to assist in the event management of orienteering events.

Irish Amateur Swimming Association Limited trading as Swim Ireland

A Swimathon, the swimming equivalent of a marathon, will be run in several locations around the country over a 5 day period culminating in a final event in April 2014, and will bring new people to the sport.

Depaul Ireland

This project will work to address issues associated with poor nutrition for single people and families who are homeless by improving nutritional awareness among service users and improving the dietary intake.

The Prince's Trust

The Trust Fairbridge is an individually tailored personal development programme combining one-to-one support and group activities delivered by a dedicated team aimed at the most marginalised and disengaged young people aged 16 to 25.