It always seems an anomaly that the budget to which sporting organisations work to in any given year is only advised to them after that year has started but that is a quirk in the budget process through Government and then Sport Ireland that will ever be thus until a system of multi-annual funding is introduced.
The Government advises Sport Ireland of its budget for 2018 as part of the overall Government spending plans in October and the distribution of that through different strands of core funding, high-performance grants and special distributions through local sports partnerships and the Women in Sport scheme take time to iron out straight after.
All the numbers have now been crunched and programmes evaluated however and this morning at the Sport Ireland National Indoor Arena we will learn how much is going towards each of those areas.
We know from the budget announcement made back in October that the 2018 amount to be distributed through Sport Ireland will be €48.5 Million, an increase of €1.5 Million on last year most of which will go towards three key areas.
The Gaelic Players Association deal will see around €700,000 set aside towards programmes and projects. €500,000 of support has been allocated towards the Irish Open Golf which will take place in Ballyliffin in County Donegal this year and €192,000 has been set aside specifically for the development of Women’s soccer through the FAI.
That will leave funding for National Governing Bodies, high performance and Local Sports Partnerships broadly in line with the current year and emphasising further the need to spread the base of funding through means of commercial or philanthropic development.
That latter expenditure plan is what we will learn today.
The focus of the growth of Government investment in sport has remained on the capital side over the past few years. The green lighting of the second phase of the Indoor Arena, the setting aside of money towards a new National Velodrome and Badminton centre and a €50 million fund towards major projects were all major wins for sport from last October, as were the €55 million on local and regional sports capital grants announced in December.
Today is more about how the money will be spent on the programmes and action plane to get people active and playing in the new facilities.
Join us tomorrow for a full review of where Sport Ireland Funding will go over the course of 2018.