Irish Olympian hurdler Thomas Barr today launched the National Lottery Good Causes Awards 2019 which honour the inspiring work and achievements of thousands of projects, clubs and individuals all over Ireland.
The major awards initiative, now in its second year, is open to organisations making an incredible difference in their communities with the help of National Lottery Good Causes funding. The televised awards carry a prize fund of €95,000.
Speaking at the Awards launch at the University of Limerick sports grounds, Barr said: ““As someone who has benefitted hugely from National Lottery Good Causes funding in my career, I am delighted to be associated with these important Awards. I can see the impact of National Lottery funding all over the country, and its role in supporting Athletes preparing for major competitions including the Olympics.”
He added: “Irish sportsmen and women need to be funded in order to reach their full potential and the contribution of National Lottery Good Causes grants to sporting organisations, in particular, has been immense. And it’s not just elite athletes who benefit as this funding has made a huge difference to thousands of sports clubs up and down the country. The variety and breadth of National Lottery support is impressive with the arts, culture, youth and the Irish language also benefitting.”
Current European Championships bronze medalist in the 400 metre hurdles, Barr represented Ireland in the 2016 Rio Olympics where he narrowly missed out on a medal. He holds the Irish National record for the 400m hurdles and was part of the 4 x 400m relay team that holds the current Irish record. He now has his eyes set firmly on the Tokyo 2020 Olympics next year.
National Lottery CEO, Dermot Griffin, said it is fitting that the profound impact of Good Causes on villages, parishes, towns and cities all over Ireland, is recognised.
“The National Lottery is used to celebrating winners. However we have thousands of winners, unsung heroes, who work quietly under the radar to make positive change in their communities and these Awards reflect that dedication and commitment.
“National Lottery funding would not be possible if it were not for our players all over the country so I thank them for their continued support. Nearly 30 cent in every €1 spent on National Lottery games – or over €620,000 per day – goes back to Good Causes all over the country in the areas of Sports, Arts, Culture, Heritage, Community, Health, Youth and the Irish Language. Last year alone more than €227 million was raised by players of National Lottery games for Good Causes. We are proud that since the National Lottery was founded 32 years ago more than €5.4 billion has been raised.”
He added: “Through the Good Causes Awards we want to show how ordinary, everyday people, organisations, projects and sports clubs are doing extraordinary things in their communities. This is work that often goes unrecognised and we are encouraging Good Cause beneficiaries to enter these awards to give them the opportunity to have their hard work honoured.”
Individuals, community projects and organisations who received Good Causes funding in the years 2016 and 2017 are eligible to apply. Applications for the Awards are now open and people can enter and check eligibility at www.lottery.ie/goodcausesawards.
The Awards will have seven categories, with County and Regional finals leading up to the Gala Awards Dinner on Saturday 2nd November in the Clayton Hotel, Ballsbridge in Dublin.
The seven categories are:
- Health and Well Being
- Youth Affairs.
- Special category: Irish Language
Each category winner will receive €10,000 and the overall Good Cause of the Year will receive an additional €25,000.
Want to enter your Good Cause into this year's awards?