On Thursday we covered the overall increase of nine per cent in Government core funding of Irish Sporting Bodies through Sport Ireland.

This morning we thought it would be interesting to run an analysis of which of the Top 24 funded sports, outside of the GAA, FAI and IRFU whose funding is published separately, had seen the biggest increases over the past seven years, the range for which the granular data was supplied.

It is tempting when looking at single year increases to believe that whatever the overall top line figure is, that this is what will be given to each sport on a pro-rata basis.

Dividing the pot 58 ways is challenging in giving enough to everyone to maintain their momentum, but perhaps at the expense of rewarding innovation and smart thinking.

So we ran the numbers to produce three individual rankings and the findings are interesting, giving a little more texture in refuting that broad brush accusation.



The first is the absolute amount given to each National Governing Body.

Special Olympics Ireland is the winner here with €1.6 million in funding, up €100,000 on last year. They have been top of the list since the figures to hand from 2018.

In fact each of the top five including Athletics Ireland, Swim Ireland, Horse Sport Ireland and Basketball Ireland have each held the same position throughout.

The second figure is derived from the percentage increase that each of the bodies has received in their core funding in 2024 versus what they got in 2018.

This produces a more significant shift.

Triathlon Ireland is a clear winner here having seen a 177 per cent increase from €108,000 to €300,000.

Rowing Ireland and Irish Squash fill the podium positions followed by Gymnastics Ireland, Canoeing Ireland, Golf Ireland, Cycling Ireland and Cricket Ireland, all of whom have scored an increase of more than 60 per cent over the seven years.

Finally we tried to get a blended chart based on a combination of the absolute amount and the seven year increase.

This produced a third list which sees Basketball Ireland, Cricket Ireland and Swim Ireland taking podium.


The detailed application process for core funding is complex, as is the strategic thinking that goes into stating a case for specific programmes and initiatives.

Running that through a numbers process that just looks coldly at the figures without the context is probably too reductive but is nonetheless something that gives us a slightly different perspective on the respective ways in which the sporting bodies are being treated.

We took 24 as our number because the percentage increases on the smaller amounts below this rough mid-way point would dilute the meaning of the comparison.

We are pleased that all bar two of the bodies featured in this Top 24 are Members of the Sport for Business community.
Deleted: One final note that as in so much of sport, the comparison that matters most in the long run is the improvement in your previous self, as opposed to competition with your peers.

The most important thing is that every sporting body is upping their game and being supported by increases in Government funding.


Sport Ireland and the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media as well as 27 of the Funded NGB’s are full members of the Sport for Business community.
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