7 June 2018
By Bryan Smyth
Olympic bronze medalist Rob Heffernan and his wife and coach Marian Heffernan today (Thursday 7th June) launched the inaugural National Lottery Good Causes Awards aimed at honouring the inspiring work and achievements of thousands of projects, clubs and individuals all over Ireland.
The significant new Awards initiative, which will have seven categories, will recognise the incredible difference that National Lottery-funded projects have made to communities all over the country in recent years.
Nearly 30 cent in every €1 spent on National Lottery games – or over €619,000 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 €226 million was raised by players of National Lottery games for such Good Causes.
Speaking at the launch of the Good Causes Awards at the Chester Beatty Library in Dublin National Lottery CEO, Dermot Griffin, said it is fitting that important work having profound impact on villages, parishes, towns and cities all over Ireland, is recognised.
“Since the National Lottery was founded 31 years ago more than €5 Billion has been raised for Good Causes in Ireland. This money has, and continues to, make a significant impact, helping shape the communities all over the country for more than three decades. Whether the funds have been six figure sums, or smaller amounts, the impact has been immense.”
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 urging Good Cause beneficiaries to enter these awards to give them the opportunity to have their hard work honoured. 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 community and these Awards will reward 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”.
Champion race walker, Rob Heffernan, has competed in five Olympics starting in Sydney in 2000. His many achievements include winning bronze medals at the 2012 London Olympics and the 2010 European Championships, along with winning gold at the 2013 World Championships in Moscow. His wife Marian is a 400m sprinter who also competed at the London Olympics.
He said: “As someone who has benefitted hugely from the support of National Lottery Good Causes funding during my career, I am delighted to be associated with these important new Awards. I can see the impact of National Lottery funding all over the country.
“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 positively impacted 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.”
Chair of the judging panel, businessman and broadcaster Bobby Kerr, said: “These are very important awards. As somebody who travels regularly all over Ireland for my work I am aware of the impact of National Lottery Good Causes funding and its importance. It is an honour to be chair of the judging panel and I am looking forward to learning more about the incredible work and achievements of groups and individuals as we go through the judging process.”
Individuals, community projects and organisations who received Good Causes funding in the years 2014, 2015 and 2016 are eligible to apply. Applications for the Awards are open from today and people can enter and check eligibility at www.lottery.ie/good_causes_awards.
The Awards will have seven categories, with County and Regional finals leading up to the Gala Awards Dinner on Saturday 3rd November.
The six categories are:
- Health and Well Being
- Youth Affairs
- Irish Language (Special award to be announced at the Awards final)
Each category winner will received €10,000 and the overall Good Cause of the Year will receive an additional €25,000.
Who can enter:
If you are an individual or member of a community project, a sports club or organization which has received National Lottery funding between the years 2014-2016, you are eligible to apply for the awards. Beneficiaries will be judged on how their funds were used to have the most impact on their local community, members or service users.
How to enter:
You can enter the National Lottery Good Causes Awards if you or your organisation, project or club has received funding through the following National Lottery part funded schemes between 2014-2016:
- Sports – Sports Capital Programme or any funding issued through the Department of Sport or Sport Ireland
- Arts and Culture – Any funding provided through the Arts Council of Ireland
- Heritage – Any funding provided through the Heritage Council of Ireland
- Youth – Funding issued by the Department of Children and Youth Affairs
- Health – Funding from the Department of Health or the Health Service Executive
- Community – Any National Lottery part-funded scheme administered by the Department of Planning, Housing and Local Government (formerly the Department of Environment, Community & Local Government)
More information and full competition rules at lottery.ie/good_causes_awards.