Funding of athletes as part of the Sport Ireland international carding scheme was published in the past few days and will see an investment of just over €3 million in 112 individual athletes and ten squads across 16 sports.

Of significant importance is the fact that this funding, like the overall High-Performance grants to sporting bodies, will be guaranteed on a multi-annual basis through to 2024 and the Paris Olympic and Paralympic Games.

19 athletes will be funded to the highest level of Podium Funding with a grant of €40,000 towards their living and training expenses.

These include Kellie Harrington, Aidan Walsh, Michaela Walsh and Aoife O’Rourke from boxing; Rhys McClenaghan from Gymnastics; Finn Lynch from Sailing; Jason Smyth from Para Athletics; Ellen Keane and Nicole turner from Para-Swimming; Paul O’Donovan, Fintan McCarthy, Fiona Murtagh, Eimear Lambe, Aifric Keogh and Emily Hegarty from Rowing; Ronan Grimes and Gary O’Reilly from Para-Cycling and Patrick O’Leary from Para Canoeing. Katie George Dunlevy and Eve McCrystal have been granted funding of €60,000 between them as a team.

The next level of World Class funding has increased from €20,000 to €25,000 and will be given to 31 athletes including Thomas Barr, Jenny Egan, Lara Gillespie, Emma Slevin, Brendan Irvine, Greta Streimikyte and Mona McSharry.

The third tier of International Funding has also risen from €12,000 to €18,000 and applies to 62 athletes.

All of those to gain funding are listed below.

It is important to note that the level of funding is a floor and that if individuals raise the level of their performance and expectation over the course of the current Games cycle that they could be moved up into the next tier.

Another innovation is the decision to provide an Athlete Career Transition Programme where athletes who engage through the Sport Ireland Institute will receive 50 per cent of the funding allocated to them for 2022 and a continuation of support from the Sport Ireland institute upon their retirement.

Getting ready for the next phase of life away from the bubble of High-Performance has many challenges but this is a good way to assist in a meaningful fashion.

Rowing, Cycling and Athletics are the ‘Podium’ sports when it comes to funding with 27 athletes and para-athletes as well as one relay team sharing €579,000; 20 Rowers sharing €522,000; and 18 cyclists and para cyclists and one squad sharing €459,000.

Of the sixteen sports, all the major ones and 12 in total have a mix of male and female athletes with only four sports having a single-gender, Taekwondo and Table Tennis for men and Pentathlon and Shooting for Women.


Sport for Business Perspective

This funding gives athletes and their supporters the ability to remain, as much as possible, focused on performance. They still benefit from the programmes that are funded through their sports but this backs up the often parental or community-based support that it needs to put food on the table and shoes on the feet. The floor element offers the opportunity to get more with success and the multi-annual nature gives athletes a sense of security that most people in employment take as standard.




Sport for Business Partners