It was announced first in the flush of excitement around the Irish Women’s Hockey team and yesterday the detail of an additional €1.5 million from Government towards High performance Sport was confirmed.
A total of 17 sports will benefit from the new money which needs to be spent in 2018. Minister Shane Ross, speaking on RTÉ News at One, said it came from a dividend from the Irish Aviation Authority totaling €12 million of which half went to the general exchequer and have stayed within the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport.
When news of the money being available broke thankfully there had been a vigorous process of engagement already completed with the High Performace teams across Sport Ireland.
A detailed review with each high performance funded sport took place over twelve months following the publication of the Rio Review. This highlighted the greatest needs across the sports most likely to deliver on a world stage and while some of them were accommodated in the high performance funding revealed earlier this year for 2018 there was a plan on how best to spend additional money which was being sought but was not available at that time.
It’s smart financial planning. Determine what is needed. Spend what you have to get towards the full aim, and know what is next when the money becomes available.
It was portrayed that this was an opportunist announcement by Government as the nation celebrated success in Hockey but in fact it was fully thought through and fully planned. Just like the performances it will fund, the planning of investment demands attention to detail and doing one right thing after another.
The funding will be used to assist National Governing Body preparations for major competitions including the 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games, and key World Championship events.
It has further been boosted by an additional €250,000 towards the purchase of equipment by Sailing Ireland and Rowing Ireland, reward based on merit with their both having delivered Silver medals at the Rio Olympic Games.
“Sport Ireland is grateful for the additional funding for high performance sport, which followed detailed discussion with the Department of Transport, Tourism and Sport and the Minister,” said Sport Ireland Chairman Kieran Mulvey taking a break from negotiating a settlement of the Ryanair and Forsa dispute at Dublin Airport.
“The National Sports Policy which was published recently highlights the need for increased investment in high performance sport if Ireland is to reach its potential on the international stage. The funding being announced today is an important step towards this objective.”
“In order to ensure athletes and teams are adequately prepared in advance of the Olympic and Paralympic Games, pre-competition camps are planned in both 2019 and 2020. There are significant costs associated with these vital activities and as such additional funding has been allocated to the Olympic Council of Ireland (€175,000) and Paralympics Ireland (€100,000).”
“In early 2018, Sport Ireland identified an immediate need for investment in order to offset the high costs associated with qualifying and preparing for 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games in Tokyo and participation in other key World Championship events,” added Sport Ireland CEO John Treacy.
“We have worked closely with the National Governing Bodies to ensure that this funding will be targeted towards enhancing athlete and team performance. We look forward to seeing a return on this much needed investment in the years ahead.”
Here is a full breakdown of the money going to each of the sports and what it will be used to pay for:
Hockey Ireland €500,000
To support the campaigns of the men’s and women’s senior teams to Tokyo 2020; to further enhance player support under the Carding Scheme; to advance the establishment of a base at the Sport Ireland National Sports Campus; and the facilitate greater engagement with the Sport Ireland Institute.
Olympic Council of Ireland €175,000
To support preparations for 2020 including the pre-Games Holding Camp and Tokyo projects
Paralympics Ireland €100,000
To support preparations for Tokyo 2020 including a training camp this November and the pre-Games Holding Camp in 2020
Horse Sport Ireland €175,000
To support Team Ireland’s participation in the World Equestrian Games in North Carolina, September 2018. Significant costs are associated with the transportation of horses to this event which is an Olympic qualification opportunity.
Swim Ireland €75,000
To support the advancement of the National Performance Centre for swimming and diving at the Sport Ireland National Sports Campus, Dublin. To assist with the coaching and accommodation costs associated with this project.
Gymnastics Ireland €75,000
To support the establishment of a National Training Centre for gymnastics at the Sport Ireland National Sports Campus, Dublin. To assist with the relocation, coaching and accommodation costs associated with this project.
Athletics Ireland €50,000
To support the development of Irish coaches who are working with high potential junior athletes transitioning to senior level throughout the Tokyo cycle
Irish Athletic Boxing Association €50,000
To support the costs associated with participation in the EU Boxing Championships which was added to the competition calendar in 2018. To facilitate the expansion of the coaching team based at the Sport Ireland Institute
Cycling Ireland €40,000
To support the Track Cycling campaign to Tokyo 2020 and maximise the opportunities presented with the addition of new events to the Olympic programme
Rowing Ireland €40,000
To advance the transition of junior rowers to senior level and support Rowing’s coaching programme.
Irish Sailing Association €40,000
To support Sailing’s planned training camp to Japan this September. Significant contact hours in an established base at the Games’ location has been identified as a critical success factor to Sailing’s Olympic preparations.
Badminton Ireland €25,000
To support Badminton’s coaching programme and assist the transition of junior players to senior level throughout the Tokyo cycle
Irish Judo Association €25,000
To support the Olympic campaigns of Judo’s carded athletes, Megan and Ben Fletcher.
Cricket Ireland €40,000
To support the women’s participation in the ICC Women’s World Twenty20 Tournament taking place in the Caribbean this November.
Confederation of Golf in Ireland €40,000
To support the hosting of the World Amateur Team Championships in Carton House this August.
Irish Taekwondo Union €40,000
To support the coaching programme of Taekwondo’ s carded athlete as they continue their campaign to Tokyo 2020.
Triathlon Ireland €30,000
To support Triathlon Ireland’s campaign to qualify a mixed team relay to Tokyo 2020. This is a new event to the Olympic programme and provides two males and two females with an opportunity to target Olympic representation.