The government has published an ambitious Sports Action Plan for the period up to 2023. It has been by the Sports Leadership Group formed to maintain a solid bond between the sporting infrastructure and the implementation of the National Sports Policy up to 2027.

There are 43 specific initiatives broken down into seven core areas of Covid-19 recovery; Communications and Information; Funding; Training and Resources; Programmes and Events; Plans and Strategies; and Research and Evaluation.

Sport for Business will look at each of these in turn over the coming days with analysis of what has been put forward, how it might be achieved and what impact the different elements will have.

We kicked this off with a look in yesterday’s Afternoon Bulletin at the ambition of achieving a 40 % gender balance on funded sporting bodies within the next two years.


There are specific performance indicators and targets that have been set out as well, which is important in providing a benchmark to aim for with so many different stakeholders required to be part of the drive.

These include bringing sedentarism down from 22 per cent in 2017 to 18 per cent by 2023 and 15 per cent by 2027.

It is targeted with the most difficult to impact groups high on the agenda as well, another real positive in the broadest sense.

A rise in the percentage of those participating in sport from the three lowest socioeconomic groups from 29 to 34 is on the list as well as a similar increase in those with a disability.

There is a pretty much non-negotiable target of 100 per cent compliance with the Sport Ireland Governance Code over the next two years.


Then there are the headline numbers in terms of performance with a target of 45-55 Top ten Performances at the Olympic and Paralympic Games in Paris 2024, as well as 17-23 medals.

There is an ambition to develop a national database of all sport and recreational facilities countrywide that will make key information on sporting facilities accessible to all.  This is a project already underway across Dublin and no doubt in other Local Sports partnerships.

In early 2022 there will also be a new youth forum on sport so that young people have input into the design and implementation of programmes to encourage lifelong engagement with sport and physical activity.

The Major Events Strategy to bring international tournaments to Ireland, including the 2030 FIFA and T20 Cricket World Cups, is included as well as new funding streams to assist innovation and coaching.

“This plan underlines the Government’s commitment and determination to tackling persistent participation gaps concerning gender, the disadvantaged and those with disabilities and reaffirms the Government’s commitment to the implementation of the goals set out in the National Sports Policy 2018-2027,” said Minister of State for Sport Jack Chambers.

Sport for All

“I want to ensure we have a Sport for All approach. Through effective promotion and extra resources from dedicated funds, we can deliver the health and wellbeing benefits of sport and physical activity to more people of every age group, young and old alike. It is never too late for somebody to take up a sport or physical activity that suits their particular needs. It’s a particular priority for me to enable women to take more leadership positions in sport and our target of having 40% representation on the boards of National Governing Bodies by the end of 2023 reflects this prioritisation. ”

“We are working hard to turn policy and ideas into effective action and Sport Ireland are setting an excellent example in the area of sustainable development in the sport sector at the National Sports Campus.”

“Sport and physical activity should be a lifelong pursuit. Building high levels of physical literacy at a young age is vitally important if we are to succeed in helping young people to take the lead and get involved in a sport and physical activity that best suits them. We know that too many young people are dropping out of sport during their adolescence, particularly young girls, and we need to stop and reverse that worrying trend.”

“A major, Youth Forum is going to be held early in the New Year. It is my aim to empower today’s youth in Ireland to reap the full benefits from sports and physical activity as they progress through the various stages of their lives so more young people can legitimately aspire to being our future Olympians and Paralympians. Building on our strong performances in Tokyo, this plan will also give our high-performance athletes a much-needed boost through an envisaged allocation of additional resources and supports to help them fulfil their potential on the world stage.”

Sport for Business Perspective

What is measured is managed and what is managed is improved.  This is a solid plan with ambitious targets and a very focused approach to tackling key areas one by one at times, and in parallel by others.  It is great that it should have a timeline that will fall within the lifetime of this Government so the results can be judged without the slippage that can occur around elections.  It will be item number one on the to-do list of the incoming new CEO of Sport Ireland.


Join us through the week as we look in detail at each of the seven core areas.


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