More detail and reaction to Budget 2022 in relation to the sports sector emerged yesterday at a briefing with Ministers Martin and Chambers at Government Buildings.

Sport Ireland will receive €96.2 million in current funding, an increase of €4.3 million on last year. This covers the core funding grants paid out to National Governing Bodies to maintain themselves and their sport as well as run particular programmes and initiatives.

It also covers support for the high-performance programme that will already be underway with a view to the next Olympic cycle as well as the events that build to that.

This funding will allow for the next stage implementation of the High-Performance Strategy 2021-2032 that was launched earlier this summer and covered here.

It will deliver a pro-rata increase for the work of Local Sports Partnerships across the country who will also benefit from a 20 per cent lift in the funding available to sport from the Dormant Accounts Fund, which next year will rise to €12 million.

There is an additional commitment of €9.6 million to the ongoing development of the Sport Ireland Campus at Abbotstown.

There was also a highlight of the fact that inter-county Gaelic players will now be paid a grant of €1,200 regardless of gender, a lift for the panels on Ladies Football and Camogie of what had been €400.

There will be another round of Sports Capital funding with an increase in the money made available at local, regional and at the scale of large national infrastructure.

The grants applied for earlier this year were at a higher level than ever before. €16 million has already been allocated on equipment grants and the balance of the larger figure is currently being appraised for an expected announcement later this year.

“Budget 2022 brings a very significant investment in sport, and builds on the extensive support package provided to address the COVID-19 challenges to NGBs and clubs in 2020 and 2021,” said Minister of State for Sport Jack Chambers.

“The funding complements the €65m sports funding package announced last week, and will allow Sport Ireland to continue to support our sporting bodies and ensure the emergence of a strong and vibrant sport sector post-Covid.”

“It will also support the implementation of the High-Performance Strategy approved by Government in June and a range of participation programmes to ensure that there are opportunities for everyone to engage in sport. Equality in grant funding for female and male Gaelic players is a key priority for me and Minister Martin and I am delighted that we have been able to achieve this.”

Reaction from across the sector was positive, backing up the welcome of the additional €65 million in resilience funding announced last week and covered here.

“While Covid-19 has dominated the landscape in recent times, now is the time for everyone to get back to sport and physical activity in a safe manner,” said John Treacy, CEO of Sport Ireland.

“Funding for National Governing Bodies and Local Sports Partnerships ensures that they are well placed with programmes and structures in place to support this return and ensure that the respective sports continue to grow and develop.”

“This funding will also have a direct impact on the preparation of our teams and athletes as we head into a truncated Olympic and Paralympic cycle. Sport Ireland has ambitious plans in place to develop the high-performance system; this funding is vital if those ambitions are to be realised.”

“Through the Dormant Accounts Fund, the sport sector has delivered a strong return on investment through providing opportunities for broader society to engage in meaningful sport and physical activity. Sport Ireland is delighted to have an additional €2 million to commit towards such measures in 2022. We thank Ministers Martin and Chambers and their department officials for their work in securing these much-needed funds for sport in Ireland.”

“The Government has responded positively to the case made by Sport Ireland and the wider sport sector for increased investment to deliver on the actions of the National Sports Policy 2018-2027,” added Sport Ireland Chair Kieran Mulvey.

“The funding announced today, in addition to the comprehensive Covid-19 related funding packages announced over the last year, will ensure that National Governing Bodies and Local Sports Partnerships are in a good position to tackle any challenges that lay ahead.”

“Through a significant capital commitment, the Sport Ireland Campus will continue to develop and grow, providing more and more opportunities for our athletes and the community alike. We thank Minister Martin and Minister Chambers and their colleagues in Government, for their ongoing support for sport and physical activity.”

Speaking on behalf of a number of NGB’s and Sports Partnerships Federation of Irish Sport CEO Mary O’Connor added that “the budget announcement follows on from a commitment of a substantive €65m covid investment fund in recent days. We believe that investment by the government into sport and physical activity has a strong return in terms of the economy, health and emotional wellbeing to Ireland and this belief has been evidenced in a recent report by Sport Ireland which estimates that the total value of sport to Ireland in economic terms is €3.7bn (GVA).”

“Finally, I would like to thank Ministers Martin and Chambers and all at the government for securing this funding and we look forward to 2022 with a determination matched only by our ambition for a thriving sporting environment”

 

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