Knowledge is power and evidence begets good decision making.

Sport can sometimes rely on instinct and lean on passion to state its case but planning for the long term generally requires a more solid foundation and Sport Ireland has long been a strong advocate of research to point out the areas where improvement can be made.

Knowing the gaps in demographic engagement with physical activity allows for a targeted approach to fill them.

Mapping the advances made in terms of representation from outside the majority voice in sporting leadership allows a greater diversity to take root.

None of these things tends to happen by chance and when it comes to funding and support Government will always rely more on quietly spoken evidence over loudly shouted anger.

Sport Ireland has this morning published its Research Strategy 2021-2027 which sets out the role of research in supporting Sport Ireland to achieve its organisational objective of delivering a world-class sports sector operating to the highest standards of governance and accountability and contributing towards the National Policy objectives for sport.

It speaks of a culture of curiosity and progress underpinned by robust research across the sports sector.

The Sport Ireland Research and Innovation Unit will lead, grow, actively share and champion credible research undertaken by Sport Ireland and the Irish sports sector.

“The Research Strategy outlines 26 actions across five strategic goals,” said Director of research and Innovation, Benny Cullen.

“We will lead on the delivery of these actions in close collaboration with the sector and other relevant institutions and organisations.”

“We aim to be thought leaders in the sport sector and are open to innovative strategies and technologies to progress the development of sport in Ireland.”

“The National Sports Policy tasked Sport Ireland with the development of a research strategy,” said Minister of State Jack Chambers.

“It identifies how, as a sector, we can generate, capture and share insights to better understand the key policy questions around sport and to develop better solutions to the challenges we seek to address.”

“The publication of the Strategy is a significant step in generating meaningful insights across participation, performance and high performance. It will inspire new thinking and drive action in the sporting ecosystem in Ireland.”

“From participation to high performance and everything in between, Sport Ireland aims to lead the generation and mobilisation of knowledge,” said Sport Ireland CEO John Treacy.

“Collaboration is key to the success of research and I would like to thank our Sport Ireland colleagues, National Governing Bodies, Local Sports Partnerships, Government Departments, and Government Agencies who have input into the development of the strategy. This collaboration will continue over the coming years and will result in robust and trustworthy insights.”

“We recognise the responsibility we have in undertaking and advancing research and insights into sport and physical activity at all levels,” concluded Director of Participation, Dr Una May.

“The Strategy outlines the vision and mission of Sport Ireland and the Research & Innovation Unit in leading this research. This research will be inclusive, reflecting the diversity of not only sports but participants also.”


Sport for Business Perspective

We will take a look at the 26 actions over the course of the coming days and highlight some of the ways in which this strategy will lead to a better sporting ecosytem here.


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