Major €80m Funding Boost for Sports to recover, grow and attract people nationwide

Sport Ireland
  • €73.6 million in COVID-19 related funding
  • €5.3m for Sport Equipment

Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media, Catherine Martin TD, and Minister of State for Sport and Gaeltacht Affairs, Jack Chambers T.D, together with Sport Ireland, have announced almost €80m for the sport sector under two separate support programmes.

Some €73.6m in Covid funding is being allocated under five separate streams to help sports organisations to recover and grow post pandemic, support our grassroots network of clubs and local sports partnerships, and ensure people of all ages and abilities return to sport and physical activity.

A further €5.3m is being provided to sport National Governing Bodies (NGBs) and Local Sports Partnerships (LSPs) for the provision of sports equipment including the roll out of defibrillators for clubs, kits for school children and state of the art equipment for our high-performance athletes.

Today’s announcement follows a commitment from both Ministers of a €65 million COVID-19 investment programme. Additional investment has been provided through the 2021 Sport Ireland budget providing total COVID support of €73.617 million to the sector. The timing of the schemes provides stability and certainty to the sports sector as it emerges from the pandemic and plans for 2022.

Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media, Catherine Martin TD said: “As a nation so fond of sports, we are very supportive of our clubs, our competitors and of course everyone who enjoys physical activity. But the last two years have been two of the most challenging for all sports organisations and the announcement of this funding will come as a relief for the sports sector. It’s important that the sport sector is on a firm financial footing. The additional funding, coupled with the increase in the budget for sport in 2022, will ensure the long-term viability of our sports organisations, high performance sport and will make sure sport remains accessible to all. These emergency funds will reach all corners of the country, a myriad of activities and ensure clubs and grassroots groups continue their great work.”

Minister of State for Sport and Gaeltacht Affairs Jack Chambers TD, added: “I welcome today’s allocations announced by Sport Ireland, which recognise the immense contribution that sport and physical activity has made to Ireland’s response to the pandemic. All facets of society continue to adjust as the public health situation evolves and our National Governing Bodies, Local Sports Partnership and sports clubs are to be commended on how they have adapted. Government understands that this has been challenging for all and the funding allocated today will assist the sector as it continues to play an important role in supporting all members of society getting and staying active.”

Specific investment has also been provided for the disability sport sector in line with the SportForAll initiative with, amongst others, Special Olympics Ireland, the Irish Wheelchair Association and Paralympics Ireland receiving financial support. A number of the approved equipment grants are also specifically targeted at disability sport.

This investment recognises the disproportionate and unanticipated extent of COVID-19 restrictions on their activities and the difficulties associated with a resumption and return to normal levels of activity.   

Chairman of Sport Ireland, Kieran Mulvey, commented: “Sport Ireland has engaged extensively with the sector since the onset of the pandemic to understand the pressure points and where organisations need support. This is reflected in the allocations made today by Sport Ireland, which also factor in the wider economic and social impact of sport. It was a priority of the Board of Sport Ireland that the needs of the disability sector were specifically addressed, with ring-fenced funding being allocated in the allocations. The recent budget announcement by the Ministers of an increase in the overall sports funding for 2022 has further reinforced that sense of confidence that support is available. We look forward to working with our funded bodies and a positive 2022.”

The total amount of money available is designed to protect the existing physical and operational infrastructure of Irish sport. This is in recognition that any reconstruction of Irish sport would ultimately cost more over the long run.

Sport Ireland Chief Executive, John Treacy, said: “While organised sport has returned in a meaningful way in recent months, the impact of the restriction of the last two years is still being felt across the sector. Indoor sports in particular have been disproportionately affected, while a large number of outdoor sports have seen their commercial programmes hit. The funding announced by Sport Ireland will alleviate the pressure on these sports and help the wider club infrastructure to sustain their commendable efforts in providing for their membership. As throughout the pandemic, Sport Ireland remains available to our national sporting organisations to provide support and guidance where necessary.” 

The COVID funding announced today is in addition to the COVID-19 contingency fund which was directed towards exceptional costs generated by the Olympic and Paralympic Games in Tokyo, which were postponed for 12 months until this year. This contingency fund ensured National Governing Bodies were supported to address costs incurred that were beyond the scope of Sport Ireland’s High Performance Programme funding and other programme resources. Full details are set out in Appendix I.

In relation to the separate equipment funding, Sport Ireland was requested to identify and prioritise proposals from NGBs and LSPs which would advance the Government’s National Sports Policy with a focus on the areas of participation, inclusion, female involvement in sport and delivery of the Sport Ireland High Performance Strategy 2021-2032.

Following completion of their assessment process, Sport Ireland recommended grants totalling €5.3m broken down as follows:

  • €3.4m to support NGBs further advance participation opportunities;
  • €1.4m to support NGBs advance the strategic objectives of the Sport Ireland High Performance Strategy; and
  • €0.5m to Local Sports Partnerships to advance participation and physical opportunities at a community level.

Full details of these equipment grants are shown in Appendix II.

Appendix I – COVID Supports

Scheme One – IRFU, FAI, GAA

This specific fund was created in recognition of the particular operational challenges facing the three largest field sports. These organisations’ ability to generate commercial income continued to be severely disrupted throughout 2021.

Scheme Two – NGB Resilience Fund

Broadly, the allocations cover the loss of income from events, ticket sales, sponsorship, affiliation & membership fees, courses, services and the additional costs arising from the implementation of social distancing and Covid-19 protocols. It is acknowledged that indoor sports and Governing Bodies who are more reliant on commercial activity and have more diverse streams of income will require greater support.

Scheme Three – Club Resilience Fund

A large number of the challenges faced by Governing Bodies are replicated across their Club network with income from affiliation & membership fees, events, competition, coaching courses and ancillary services all reduced. The additional costs arising from the implementation of social distancing and Covid-19 protocols has also had a significant impact on Club activities where the sharing of equipment, facilities and resources is common place.  In addition, there are a number of Governing Bodies whose network of Clubs consist of commercial organisations operating out of dedicated facilities with full time staff and strong annual turnovers. Such organisations are more reliant on membership, competition and coaching revenues as well as income from ancillary sporting and non-sporting commercial activity.

Sport Ireland will not fund Clubs, Affiliates, Provinces or Branches directly and funding will be accessed through programmes established by the Governing Body.

Scheme Four – Swimming Pool & Facilities Fund

This scheme provides specific funding to support the reopening and continued viability of Swimming Pools along with the strategic facilities of National Governing Bodies & Local Sports Partnerships.

A Funding Scheme for swimming pools will be designed and delivered by Ireland Active in consultation with Sport Ireland.

Scheme Five – Resumption of Sport & Physical Activity

A Restart Fund to support the return of sport and physical activity post pandemic has been made available.

The Scheme seeks to support a number of key focus areas

  • A Disability Sport Fund
  • Older Adults Support
  • Third Level Education Support
  • NGB Grassroots & Indoor Sport Support
  • LSP Small Grant Scheme
  • LSP Grassroots Sport Support

Notes to the Editor:

Total Overall NGB Allocations

Organisation Scheme One   Scheme Two  Scheme Three  Scheme Five  Total
Gaelic Athletic Association 20,000,000 20,000,000
Football Association of Ireland 19,000,000 19,000,000
Irish Rugby Football Union 18,000,000 18,000,000
Field Sports Total 57,000,000 57,000,000
Special Olympics Ireland 500,000 500,000
Irish Wheelchair Association Sport 142,000 142,000
CARA 80,000 80,000
Paralympics Ireland 65,000 65,000
Vision Sports Ireland 50,000 50,000
Disability Sport Total 837,000 837,000
Cricket Ireland 1,300,000 200,000 1,500,000
Basketball Ireland 360,000 550,000 100,000 1,010,000
Golf Ireland 700,000 200,000 900,000
Athletics Ireland 650,000 650,000
Irish Athletic Boxing Association 60,000 400,000 50,000 510,000
Gymnastics Ireland 500,000 500,000
The Camogie Association 500,000 500,000
Irish Martial Arts Commission 225,000 215,000 440,000
Swim Ireland 300,000 125,000 425,000
Horse Sport Ireland 300,000 200,000 500,000
Hockey Ireland 350,000 350,000
Irish Sailing 350,000 350,000
Badminton Ireland 130,000 200,000 330,000
Motor Sport Ireland 120,000 150,000 50,000 320,000
Triathlon Ireland 186,000 125,000 311,000
Volleyball Ireland 200,000 200,000
Irish Squash 60,000 125,000 185,000
Rowing Ireland 85,000 100,000 185,000
National Community Games 100,000 50,000 150,000
Irish Underwater Council / Diving Ireland 10,000 110,000 120,000
Canoeing Ireland 18,000 100,000 118,000
GAA Handball 100,000 100,000
Archery Ireland 32,000 50,000 7,000 89,000
Fencing Ireland 5,000 70,000 75,000
Irish Judo Association 15,000 20,000 35,000 70,000
Motorcycling Ireland 50,000 50,000
Olympic Handball 40,000 40,000
Bowling League of Ireland 40,000 40,000
Rugby League Ireland 15,000 20,000 35,000
Irish Taekwondo Union 15,000 10,000 25,000
ONAKAI 25,000 25,000
Racquetball Association of Ireland 5,000 20,000 25,000
Weightlifting Ireland 20,000 3,000 23,000
Tug of War 12,000 10,000 22,000
Irish Orienteering Association 20,000 20,000
Irish Surfing 20,000 20,000
American Football Ireland 8,000 10,000 18,000
Bol Chumann na hÉireann 15,000 15,000
Table Tennis Ireland 10,000 10,000
Angling Council Of Ireland 10,000 10,000
Federation of Irish Sport 14,000 14,000
Totals 57,000,000 2,985,000 5,445,000 1,850,000 10,280,000

LSP Small Grant Scheme

Carlow Sports Partnership €                                 28,800
Cavan Sports Partnership €                                 76,000
Clare Sports Partnership €                                 62,200
Cork Sports Partnership €                               115,000
Donegal Sports Partnership €                                 40,600
Dublin City Sport and Wellbeing Partnership €                                 69,000
Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown Sports Partnership €                                 44,600
Fingal Sports Partnership €                                 40,600
Galway Sports Partnership €                                 49,000
Kerry Recreation and Sports Partnership €                                 76,000
Kildare Sports Partnership €                                 53,000
Kilkenny Recreation & Sports Partnership €                                 43,000
Laois Sports Partnership €                                 29,355
Leitrim Sports Partnership €                                 62,200
Limerick Sports Partnership €                               142,000
Longford Sports Partnership €                                 55,200
Louth Sports Partnership €                                 44,600
Mayo Sports Partnership €                                 93,400
Meath Local Sports Partnership €                                 35,800
Monaghan Sports Partnership €                                 14,850
Offaly Sports Partnership €                                 33,800
Roscommon Sports Partnership €                                 20,300
Sligo Sport and Recreation Partnership €                                 76,000
South Dublin County Sports Partnership €                                 28,800
Sports Active Wexford €                                 76,000
Tipperary Sports Partnership €                                 66,800
Waterford Sports Partnership €                                 32,455
Westmeath Sports Partnership €                                 54,840
Wicklow Sports Partnership €                                 35,800
Total €                              1,600,000

LSP Grassroots Sport Support

Organisation Amount
Carlow Sports Partnership €                         50,950
 Clare Sports Partnership  €                         38,644
 Cavan Sports Partnership  €                            9,490
 Cork Sports Partnership  €                         77,031
 Donegal Sports Partnership  €                         27,600
 Galway Sports Partnership  €                         49,000
 Kildare Sports Partnership  €                         29,750
 Laois Sports Partnership  €                         40,617
 Leitrim Sports Partnership  €                         20,400
 Limerick Sports Partnership  €                         62,665
 Longford Sports Partnership  €                         20,800
 Mayo Sports Partnership  €                         29,953
 Roscommon Sports Partnership  €                            5,650
 Sligo Sport and Recreation Partnership  €                         28,991
 Tipperary Sports Partnership  €                            4,500
 Wicklow Sports Partnership  €                            3,960
Total  €              500,000
Full Investment Breakdown
Organisation Scheme One   Scheme Two  Scheme Three  Scheme Four  Scheme Five  Total
 Gaelic Athletic Association            20,000,000                     –                              –                          –                          20,000,000
 Football Association of Ireland           19,000,000                     –                              –                          –                          19,000,000
 Irish Rugby Football Union           18,000,000                     –                              –                          –                          18,000,000
             
Field Sports Total           57,000,000                     –                              –                              57,000,000
             
Special Olympics Ireland                      –                       –                              –                  500,000                            500,000
 Irish Wheelchair Association Sport                      142,000                            142,000
 CARA                        80,000                              80,000
 Paralympics Ireland                        65,000                              65,000
 Vision Sports Ireland                      –                       –                              –                    50,000                              50,000
 Disability Sport Total                       –                       –                              –                  837,000                            837,000
             
             
Cricket Ireland                      –             1,300,000                    200,000                        –                            1,500,000
 Basketball Ireland                      –                360,000                    550,000                100,000                          1,010,000
 Golf Ireland                       –                       –                      700,000                200,000                            900,000
 Athletics Ireland                       –                       –                      650,000                        –                              650,000
 Irish Athletic Boxing Association                 60,000                    400,000                  50,000                            510,000
 Gymnastics Ireland                       –                      500,000                        –                              500,000
 The Camogie Association                       –                500,000                            –                          –                              500,000
 Irish Martial Arts Commission                      –                       –                      225,000                215,000                            440,000
 Swim Ireland                      –                       –                      300,000                125,000                            425,000
 Horse Sport Ireland                      –                       –                      300,000                200,000                            500,000
 Hockey Ireland                      –                       –                      350,000                        –                              350,000
 Irish Sailing                       –                       –                      350,000                        –                              350,000
 Badminton Ireland                      –                130,000                            –                  200,000                            330,000
 Motor Sport Ireland                      –                120,000                    150,000                  50,000                            320,000
 Triathlon Ireland                      –                186,000                    125,000                        –                              311,000
 Volleyball Ireland                      –                       –                              –                  200,000                            200,000
 Irish Squash                      –                       –                        60,000                125,000                            185,000
 Rowing Ireland                      –                 85,000                    100,000                        –                              185,000
 National Community Games                      –                100,000                      50,000                        –                              150,000
 Irish Underwater Council / Diving Ireland                      –                 10,000                    110,000                        –                              120,000
 Canoeing Ireland                      –                       –                        18,000                100,000                            118,000
 GAA Handball                       –                       –                              –                  100,000                            100,000
 Archery Ireland                      –                 32,000                      50,000                   7,000                              89,000
 Fencing Ireland                      –                   5,000                      70,000                        –                                75,000
 Irish Judo Association                 15,000                      20,000                  35,000                              70,000
 Motorcycling Ireland                      –                 50,000                            –                          –                                50,000
 Olympic Handball                      –                       –                              –                    40,000                              40,000
 Bowling League of Ireland                       –                        40,000                        –                                40,000
 Rugby League Ireland                       –                        15,000                  20,000                              35,000
 Irish Taekwondo Union                      –                 15,000                      10,000                        –                                25,000
 ONAKAI                       –                       –                        25,000                        –                                25,000
 Racquetball Association of Ireland                   5,000                      20,000                        –                                25,000
 Weightlifting Ireland                      –                       –                        20,000                   3,000                              23,000
 Tug of War                      –                 12,000                            –                    10,000                              22,000
 Irish Orienteering Association                      –                       –                              –                    20,000                              20,000
 Irish Surfing                       –                       –                              –                    20,000                              20,000
 American Football Ireland                      –                       –                          8,000                  10,000                              18,000
 Bol Chumann na hÉireann                      –                       –                        15,000                        –                                15,000
 Table Tennis Ireland                      –                       –                              –                    10,000                              10,000
 Angling Council Of Ireland                      –                       –                              –                    10,000                              10,000
 Federation of Irish Sport                      –                       –                        14,000                        –                                14,000
 Age & Opportunity                       100,000                            100,000
 Student Sport Ireland                      100,000                            100,000
 Ireland Active                        3,200,000                            3,200,000
 Local Sports Partnership Network                    2,100,000                          2,100,000
 Totals           57,000,000            2,985,000                    5,445,000                    3,200,000            4,987,000                           73,617,000

Appendix II – Sport Ireland Targeted Equipment Grants

National Governing Bodies of Sport Organisation General Participation High Performance TOTAL
Football Association of Ireland 395,000   €395,000
Gymnastics Ireland   395,000 €395,000
Horse Sport Ireland 330,304   64,696 €395,000
Irish Rugby Football Union 395,000   €395,000
Irish Sailing 102,000 293,000 €395,000
Swim Ireland 359,000 36,000 €395,000
Rowing Ireland   60,000 325,000 €385,000
Gaelic Athletic Association 356,000   €356,000
Irish Athletic Boxing Association 259,000   €259,000
Canoeing Ireland 143,000 70,000 €213,000
Badminton Ireland 140,000 45,700 €185,700
Athletics Ireland 156,000 22,353 €178,353
Cricket Ireland   47,000 110,000 €157,000
Basketball Ireland 100,000   €100,000
Olympic Handball 100,000   €100,000
Snooker & Billiards Ireland 98,400     €98,400
Irish Martial Arts Commission 89,000     €89,000
Hockey Ireland  80,000   €80,000
Angling Council of Ireland 60,000   €60,000
Volleyball Ireland      55,000   €55,000
Tug of War Ireland      50,000   €50,000
Irish Underwater Council/Diving Ireland      35,000   €35,000
Table Tennis Ireland      25,100   €25,100
Irish Surfing      20,000   €20,000
Tennis Ireland     12,500 €12,500
Irish Wheelchair Association Sport      12,000   €12,000
Total Funding Requests [NGBs] 3,386,804 1,454,249 €4,841,053

Local Sports Partnerships (LSP’s)

Carlow LSP € 42,800
Cavan LSP € 22,461
Clare LSP € 10,000
Donegal LSP € 30,000
Kerry LSP € 84,000
Kildare LSP € 45,000
Laois LSP € 38,803
Leitrim LSP € 35,000
Longford LSP € 25,000
Meath LSP € 56,774
Monaghan LSP €   5,500
Offaly LSP € 20,000
Sligo LSP 1 € 20,000
Tipperary LSP € 36,900
Waterford LSP €    9,800
Total €482,038
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