Cara – Strategy Launch
Announcement made at Cara office at new Kerry Sports Academy
Minister of State for Tourism and Sport, Brendan Griffin TD, officially launched Cara’s new three-year strategy at the organisation’s new offices at state-of-the-art Kerry Sports Academy at the Institute of Technology, Tralee.
Cara is a leading pan-disability sport organisation providing a collaborative and partnership platform to increase sport and physical activity opportunities for people with disabilities across Ireland.
Speaking at the launch on Friday 25th January, Minister Griffin said: “I am delighted to launch Cara’s first strategy here in the fantastic surrounds of the new Kerry Sports Academy at Institute of Technology Tralee. Everyone, no matter what their background or circumstances, should have the opportunity to engage in sport and physical activity at a level of their choosing. This is one of the key priorities of the new National Sports Policy 2018-2027. The publication of this strategy is welcome and timely as it clearly articulates how Cara will support the implementation of the National Sports Policy through an ambitious programme of work. I would like to congratulate all involved with the development of this strategy.”
It is the view of Cara that all people with disabilities deserve to have equal opportunities to experience the benefits that participating in sport and physical activity can bring. The new strategy provides a route map to guide and focus Cara’s work over the next three years.
Niamh Daffy, CEO of Cara, highlighted the important focus of the new strategy in strengthening the collaborative nature of Cara’s engagements with the various sectors. “While this is our strategy, it is a strategy that we hope will be shared, we recognise the importance of working with a range of stakeholders and we believe that it is only through this approach that positive change can come about and collectively we can put disability sport and inclusive physical activity at the heart of our nation.”
Central to the success of Cara has been the continued support and investment from Sport Ireland, which has been instrumental in making the organisation’s journey possible and successful.
Chief Executive of Sport Ireland, John Treacy, commented: “I very much welcome Cara’s strategy, which outlines their commitment to enhancing participation opportunities to people with disabilities in sport. This three-year strategy builds on the excellent work achieved since the organisation’s establishment in 2007, and clearly defines the role of Cara in encouraging more opportunities for people with disabilities. Cara is a central partner in the delivery of Sport Ireland’s Policy on Participation in Sport by People with Disabilities, which is reflected in our continuing investment in the organisation and the presence of Cara on the Sport Ireland National Sports Campus. I would like to thank all those who contributed to the strategy process, in particular the staff and Board of Cara, and wish them all the best for the future.”
Cara originated from the internationally recognised Health and Leisure Adapted Physical Activity Programme at the Institute of Technology Tralee. The commitment from the college executive and staff has been a noteworthy factor in driving Cara to where it is today. The relocation of Cara within the new Kerry Sports Academy in the coming months demonstrates the continued commitment from IT Tralee to supporting the national vision of inclusion in sport and physical activity in Ireland.
At the launch, President Oliver Murphy stated “IT Tralee looks forward to Cara taking up residency in the new €19 million Kerry Sports Academy. Cara, IT Tralee and the UNESCO Chair at the Institute, through a partnership approach will continue to advance their respective agendas, both nationally and internationally, having a state-of-the-art physical infrastructure via the KSA to deliver on their individual and collaborative objectives”.
Cara’s strategy sets out four key goals:
- Provide strategic leadership and support
- Represent the needs of people with disabilities
- Enhance the quality of sport and physical activity opportunities
- Build effective organisation capabilities
Cara has worked hard to ensure it has an important role and purpose in Ireland. Chair of Cara, Pat Flanagan indicated that “this strategy is the start of a new journey for our organisation, most importantly people with disabilities are placed at the heart of our work, to ensure what we do is influenced by their needs, also ensuring their needs are shared with the wider sport and physical activity sector”.
Through the implementation of this strategy Cara will continue to work with its partners, funders and stakeholders to enhance opportunities available to people with disabilities to experience the joy and benefits of participating in sport and physical activity throughout Ireland.
Cara’s Strategic Plan (2019-2021) can be accessed at www.caracentre.ie