Outdoor Recreation NI (ORNI) is delighted to share a video showcase of the fantastic achievements of the Active Clubs programme over the last four years. A special thanks to those who shared with us their testimonials of the programme.
Reflecting on the last 4 years
Four years ago, ORNI was successful in gaining SportNI’s Active Clubs funding from the National Lottery. Following as successful joint application with the Ulster Federation of Rambling Clubs, the two organisations were granted funding of £200,000 for a 4-year period. This funding period is now coming to an end however, the most successful elements of the project will continue. ORNI will continue to support the Community Walk Leaders and groups whilst the existing Walking in Your Community project is being redesigned.
The aim of this project was to increase participation in walking by engaging with key target groups who are generally underrepresented within society (women, young people ages between 14 & 25 and people from low income areas). The project has been successful in meeting all the targets and has overachieved in many of the areas.
Walk @ parkrun
Walk @ parkrun has been one of the stand out legacies of the Active Clubs Programme. Now successfully launched alongside 10 pre-existing parkruns across Northern Ireland and over 10,000 walking instances have been recorded to date. Volunteer teams have reported significant increases in participant numbers achieved week on week throughout the launch, which has settled into a strong core group of consistent walkers. Walkers have also reported noticeable physical and mental health changes in as little as 6 weeks. ORNI have developed a strong relationship with parkrun UK and Ireland to create a programme which works with the current parkrun structure and ethos. Using marketing expertise, the ORNI team have also created eye catching branding for the initiative and increased awareness of a popular event many did not know existed right on their doorstep. Walk @ parkrun has also successfully expanded with support from ORNI into the Republic of Ireland.
Walk @ parkrun has also been selected as a case study a part of the Boss Project run by the European Network of outdoor sports.
UFRC Spring Gathering & Open Weekend
One of the significant highlights of the partnership between ORNI and the Ulster Federation of Rambling Clubs has been the introduction of two highly successful events to the Federations Calendar. The UFRC Spring Gathering’s and UFRC Open Weekends have encouraged over 400 people to engage with the federation with many more connecting at other training events. ORNI is confident in the ability of the Committee to continue to bring together members of clubs from across Northern Ireland to informative events, training sessions and their ability to create ongoing opportunities for clubs to welcome new walkers.