Sport Ireland has announced the allocation of €85 million in Government funding for sporting bodies to address the significant cash impact of Covid-19.
€70 million of the funding was announced in June and an additional €15 million has since been made available to the GAA, Ladies Football and Camogie for the staging of the All Ireland Championships behind closed doors.
Sport Ireland managed an open application process from across the sporting ‘ecosystem’ to distribute funding that it says will “allow sports organisations to off-set significant losses incurred in recent months and add a semblance of certainty to planning for 2021.
“The significant investment will reach all levels of the sport sector with National Governing Bodies, Local Sports Partnerships and thousands of grassroots clubs across Ireland set to benefit.”
Four Key Schemes
Over €79 million of funding has been allocated to National Governing Bodies, Local Sports Partnerships and other funded bodies across four key schemes. These are the first catering for the exceptional demands of the three main field sports of Gaelic Games, Rugby and Soccer. These have been granted €30.7 million, €18 million and €16 million respectively.
The second addresses the needs of National Governing Bodies and the third is specifically aimed at Ireland’s 12,000 plus sporting clubs.
The fourth strand looks at smaller grants and specific funding for more vulnerable groups including those with a disability and older adults as well as a fund towards innovative projects arising out of the impact of the pandemic and lockdown.
Recognising the continually changing landscape, an Emergency Fund to the value of €5.8 million has also been ring-fenced to offset losses incurred by sports organisations during the current Level 5 restrictions and the remaining period of 2020.
Additional €5 Million
Sport Ireland was in a position to meet the requests of National Governing Bodies for their club networks to the tune of €9.7 million, allowing an additional €5 million to be invested in the GAA, IRFU and FAI club networks.
We have illustrated the different funding streams below in a visual format and have reaction from across the sporting sector here.
In total there are 44 organisations which benefit, with Golf Ireland, Cricket Ireland, Gymnastics Ireland, Basketball Ireland and Horse Sport Ireland gaining over €1 million in addition to the three major sports.
Tennis Ireland, Athletics Ireland, Swim Ireland, Irish Sailing, the Irish Amateur Boxing Association and Cyclin Ireland are in the next tranche of upwards of €500,000.
“The initial schemes announced in June were designed to support Organisations with Covid-19 related losses in 2020.,” said Sport Ireland CEO John Treacy announcing the details.
“However, having engaged with our funded bodies, we understand that the current Level 5 restrictions present additional challenges.”
“As such, we are ring-fencing finances to address any immediate needs that may arise in the sector in the coming weeks.”
“Sport has shown itself to be incredibly resilient throughout the Covid-19 restrictions having made a critical contribution to Irish life with more people being active than ever before.”
“Through exemptions put in place by Government, we have been able to follow high performance and professional athletes and teams, which has provided a welcome lift to the nation. We look forward to working with the sector in the challenging weeks and months ahead, and will continue to provide ongoing support.”
“The funding being allocated today will provide relief for funded bodies and clubs,” added Sport Ireland Chair, Kieran Mulvey.
“It will provide much needed financial stability to the entire sector and has given organisations the confidence to continue trading through these difficult times. The funding recognises the wider economic and social impact of sport and the significant costs arising from the real threat of insolvency to sporting bodies.”
“The needs of the disability sector were specifically addressed with a dedicated group being established to examine any particular issues arising during the Covid-19 pandemic; this has been recognised in our funding allocations.”
Largest Ever Investment
“While the circumstances are unfortunate, Sport Ireland’s investment in 2020 is the largest ever investment package for sport. The recent budget announcement by the Ministers has reinforced that sense of confidence that support is available and we look forward to working with our funded bodies to address their needs in 2021.”
“The Government recognises the vital contribution that sport has made to public health throughout the Covid-19 pandemic,” said Minister for Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and media Catherine Martin.
“While it is appreciated that this is a difficult time for sports organisations and individuals alike, sport has continued to respond and react to the evolving situation through innovative ways in keeping people engaged and active.”
“The funding allocated by Sport Ireland today will protect the national sporting infrastructure and provide financial stability to the sector in the uncertain months ahead. Earlier this month I announced a significant increase in the budget for sport in 2021, which will provide further resilience to the sport sector as we look to emerge from the current crisis.”
“Sport has demonstrated its resilience throughout the ongoing pandemic,” added Minister of State for Sport, Jack Chambers.
“It is important that this resilience continues into the weeks and months ahead as we look to emerge from this crisis. The funding announced today will assist our sporting organisations and clubs in getting everyone active and keeping them active. ”
“This has never been more important and is essential for our physical and mental wellbeing. As we look to the future, it will ensure our high-performance athletes and teams are as well prepared as possible ahead of the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games. Similarly, it is vital that sports organisations are ready to return to activity as soon as public health circumstances allow.”
Sport for Business Partners