The wait is over and this week the Coca-Cola Thank You Fund awarded €125,000 in funding for the fifth consecutive year.

The lucky five non-profit and voluntary groups have each received €25,000 for projects that will get local communities in Ireland and Northern Ireland more active, more often.

Since 2011, the Fund has awarded €625,000 to 47 projects that have succeeded in getting more than 30,000 people moving. Here are this year’s 5 winning organisations, and their projects:

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

2.  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.

3.  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.

4.  Tennis Ireland for its initiative enabling access to tennis for people with intellectual disabilities.

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

“It’s always a pleasure to meet groups which are enthusiastic about getting people involved with sport and getting them moving by capturing their interest with exciting projects,” said Minister of State for Tourism and Sport, Michael Ring TD.  “It’s great news for the five winning organisations here today as they each receive €25,000 but now the hard work begins as they go about implementing their projects.”

He applauded how they are focused on bringing local communities together, making sure that people feel empowered to try something new. “Many of us could do with a little more exercise so it’s great to have projects like this which give people the incentive to get more active.”

It’s certainly not easy to win the funding. The projects were selected following a competitive judging process. Shortlisted applicants met with a tough judging panel consisting of representatives from both of the Fund’s partner organisations – the Federation of Irish Sport and the Northern Ireland Sports Forum. In addition to pitching the judges on their idea, the groups also fielded questions on their approach during Q&A sessions.

“We are delighted to have reached the fifth anniversary of the Thank You Fund and to reflect on the fantastic projects it has supported, with the aim of getting people more active, more often,” said Frank O’Donnell, General Manager of Coca-Cola HBC Ireland and Northern Ireland. “The Fund has served to shine a light on all the dedicated organisations working in communities across Ireland and Northern Ireland, and it has been great to hear of the difference the projects have made in people’s lives. Well done to all the groups that applied this year – the standard was exceptional.”

Applications for the Thank You Fund 2017 are now open. Find out more about the Thank You Fund 2017.