Sport for Business attended a special briefing on the 2019 Budget at Government Buildings yesterday where some of the finer detail of the allocation to sport were outlined.
We were able to clarify that the additional €6.5 million we revealed yesterday will all be new money and will be on top of the €1.5 million announced across a number of Olympic and other sports back in August.
The launch of the National Sports Policy has been a clear driver of the argument from Department officials who have had a tough time over the past two years with relatively static programme funding.
The commitment to double funding from €111 million to €220 million in ten years really had to get off to a winning start to maintain credibility around the ambitious scope of the policy and that is what was confirmed yesterday.
€2.3 Million Additional Core Funding for NGB’s
We can confirm that this increase will amount to €2.3 million in 2019, an 11.4 % increase on the money that is used by National Governing Bodies to fund staff including development officers, programmes of engagement and day to day running costs.
This has been an area of contention in recent years as increases in Capital spending outstripped that available to fill the properties that were being developed.
This money is distributed through and controlled in how it is distributed by Sport Ireland. Each of the sports will now finalise their submissions for next years funding which should be confirmed in the early part of next year.
€1.5 Million Extra for High-Performance Sport
We confirmed yesterday that this will be new funding for High-Performance programmes and athletes, additional to the exact same amount announced in August. That money was deemed as a windfall, from money within another area of the Department but this funding will be extra, making a €3 million advance since the start of the summer.
As with the core funding, Sport Ireland and High Performance Director Paul McDermott will now work with each of the sports in the High Performance sphere to determine the breakdown of how this money will be spent to best effect in the current Olympic Cycle.
€1 Million Extra for Women in Sport
The application process for NGB’s to bid for 2019 money said that the Women in Sport Programme would be confirmed at a later stage. There was never a fear of the ‘carved-out’ funding stream being discontinued and indeed it has now been doubled. Each of the individual sports and local sports partnerships will now be able to bid for twice as much money as was available for the past number of years and we look forward to a number of smart initiatives coming forward as a direct result.
€1 Million Extra for Disability Officers
An additional amount has been set aside so that Sport Ireland can fund a Sports inclusion and Disability Officer for each local sports partnership around the country.
These individuals have been effective where funding has allowed for their being active within communities. Dublin Sports and Wellbeing Partnership is one that it is known will be stepping up work in this area as a direct result of the new funding.
€700,000 Extra for Gaelic Players Association
This is money that was agreed to work back into the agreement between the GAA, Gaelic Players Association and Government and gives a good boost to the new management regime at the GPA led by Paul Flynn.
All these elements are a significant commitment of additional funding from Government, on top of the commitments outlined in Capital Funding, for smaller local as well as major infrastructure projects.
“Following the launch of the new National Sports Policy in July, a significantly increased allocation of €123 million has been made available to support our sporting heroes from the grassroots to the high-performance, which represents a 13% increase on last year,” said Minister Shane Ross.
“This significant increase in funding available for sport is proof of our ambition to increase sporting participation at all levels from grassroots to high performance and will enable us to start delivering on some of the key objectives of the recently published National Sports Policy 2018-2027,” added Minister of State Brendan Griffin.
“In particular, it will enable us to double the level of funding for its Women in Sport programme to €2million and to create a dedicated programme for disability sport through the deployment of a Sport Inclusion Disability Officer in all 26 Local Sports Partnerships countrywide.”
A new round of the Sports Capital Programme is currently open for applications and the 2019 funding covers all existing commitments plus new allocations of €40m which will be announced next year. We will also be making our first allocations under the new Large Scale Sports Infrastructure Fund.”