Recreational activities for young people


Play and recreation are important for a young person’s well-being. The Government has a National Recreational Policy for young people.

This page outlines some of the supports available.

National Recreational Policy

Teenspace - the National Recreation Policy for Young People helps promote appropriate recreational opportunities for young people between the ages of 12 and 18.

The policy aims to cover both organised activities as well as the more casual activities (skateboarding, biking, and using the internet), that young people like to get involved with.

Youth cafés

There is a Youth café toolkit - how to set up and run a youth café in Ireland (pdf).

Local Authority Play and Recreation Network

The Local Authority Play and Recreation Network (LAPRN) gives a more coordinated and interagency approach to achieving the main goals of the play and recreation policies at both the national and local levels.

The network has an annual National Recreation Week. Funding is available to each local authority up to €1,700. There is also funding available to help promote a National Play Day.

Funding programmes

The Department provides support to community and voluntary organisations providing youth services, including recreational activities, through its grants and funding programmes.

Under the Grant Scheme up to €20,000 is allocated to each local authority. The funding is for new facilities, equipment, the design and/or the use of non-traditional spaces. It is also for refurbishment costs or the upgrading of existing play and recreation facilities.

Youth arts

In partnership with the Department and the Arts Council, the National Youth Council of Ireland operates a youth arts programme to promote and develop youth arts.

Local Sports Partnerships

Sport Ireland has developed a network of Local Sports Partnerships to promote participation in sports.

Recreational activities

Community and voluntary organisations are major providers of recreational activities for young people. They run sports clubs, youth clubs and various other youth services.

Local authorities provide information on recreational and cultural facilities on their websites.


Sport Ireland provides support to the National Governing Bodies of the various sports available in Ireland. Contact details for the National Governing Bodies are available on its website.

Youth clubs and cafés

The National Youth Council of Ireland (NYCI) is the representative body for national voluntary youth work organisations. Information on its members and their activities is available on its website.


Volunteer Ireland provides advice for young people who are interested in volunteering. It also provides contact details for the network of Volunteer Centres. Volunteer Centres provide a placement service between individuals who want to volunteer and organisations that want volunteers.

President's Award

The President's Award is the National Challenge Award for young people between the ages of 15 and 25 years. The purpose of the award is to reward young people who have set and achieved a demanding challenge for themselves in each of the 4 different areas of activity. Find out more in our page on the President’s Award.

Page edited: 24 January 2023