The Sports Action Plan announced recently is a blueprint for Government investment, Sport Ireland enabling, and stakeholder delivery in sport over the next two years.

We are looking at the seven key focus areas one by one and today we turn our attention to the area of training and resources.

Volunteer training and resource is considered to be vital in addressing the inequality in how sport is accessed and delivered to different harder to reach groups within society.  Delivering at local level and learning from successes is where the focus lies as part of the plan

There are five action points under the heading of funding.

4.1 Develop tailored resources to assist the key networks of Sports Inclusion Disability Officers, Local Sports Partnerships and National Governing Bodies of Sport.

Crossover of learning from the great work that is happening in specific areas is vital but often overlooked.  The time is often devoted to the next challenge rather than looking back on how the previous one was met.  Making the learnings accessible by others is important and the use of storytelling as a skill should be part of each body charged with delivering these services.

4.2 Aligned with national volunteering policy, develop resources to support volunteer management within NGBs and LSPs.

The programmes will only be sustainable if there is a handover to people invested in a community to carry them on.  This is a greater challenge in the areas of greater need.  There is no simple solution but the model of Irish volunteering based on family and community is not necessarily the best fit everywhere.

4.3 All NGBs and LSPs to adopt the Governance Code for Sport by end 2021. As part of this process Sport Ireland will identify and put in place the training and supports needed by the different organisations to assist with the adoption process.

Nobody really wants to spend time on governance, sometimes considering that it gets in the way of delivery.  That mindset needs to change and is so.  The sector has been OK in this regard but with a few notable high profile exceptions that make it even more important to get it right once, and then maintain a high level of observance.

4.4 Support NGBs, LSPs and other sports bodies to develop evaluation tools for their programmes and initiatives. Develop evaluation frameworks that will allow for the robust assessment of (a) the impact of publicly funded facilities, programmes and interventions and (b) the degree to which durable linkages are created with local clubs.

Everything should be measured and assessed as part of the ongoing learning process.  Part of this should though recognise that the burden of monitoring and reporting needs to be streamlined so that it becomes easier to record on the ground and less of a burden on those who are trying to deliver.

4.5 Convene regular sport sector stakeholder forums to facilitate collation of insurance pricing data to inform six-monthly Ministerial presentations to the Cabinet Committee on Insurance Reform.

This is a very specific area in a more broad-based overall plan, clearly informed by the experience on the ground that insurance is causing a real issue for event organisers.  Bringing the insurance industry into these forums would be a step forward so that advances can be made in a way that is collegiate rather than confrontational.

 

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

Analysis of the Sports Action Plan – Part Three – Funding

Analysis of the Sports Action Plan – Part Two – Communication and Promotion

Analysis of the Sports Action Plan – Part One – Covid Recovery

 

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