In conjunction with Sport NI and Sports Forum, the Department for Communities will release £2.4 million funding in grants and will launch an emergency financial relief programme in April to ensure the continuation of grassroots clubs.
Said the Foyle MLA: “This funding package is good news for clubs throughout the sport sector considering that up until today, the future of these organisations had faced uncertainty.
“Our local sports clubs have borne the brunt of this pandemic- with all sporting activities and games cancelled for the foreseeable.
“This has obviously placed organisations in immediate financial difficulty with no means to garner revenue.
“It is important to recognise the invaluable role the sporting sector plays within our society, not just in regards to people’s general physical and mental health but the inclusive community spirit and sense of belonging these clubs provide for all ages.
“I am pleased that support is now available to see them through this difficult and uncertain period.
“I hope the financial package announced today will be enough to protect this vital sector both in the short and long term.”
Mr Durkan added: “I am not alone when I say, once we come out the other side of this, the selflessness and support demonstrated by clubs and their members during this crisis will not soon be forgotten; but rather I hope it will be reciprocated.
“I look forward to seeing games played once more on local sporting grounds, stands packed and supporters rooting from the sidelines for teams at every level.”