In September 2019 Sport Ireland announced €3 Million in funding specifically geared towards projects aimed at enabling and encouraging the participation of more women in sport.
The range of projects, spread across 40 different sports is impressive. In this series we will take a look at a selection of them in the belief that sharing knowledge anout smart initiatives is a good thing to do.

Triathlon Ireland’s success in increasing female participation has been recognised with a substantial increase in funding from Sport Ireland.

Over two years the National Governing Body will recieve €100,000 to support its ‘Equally Inspiring’ programme, devised and implemented under the leadership of Triathlon Ireland staff member Anna Grealish.

The programme has proven itself through two initial years and has set ambitious goals to increase female participation in the sport.

The programme has exceeded its targets for female membership 18 months ahead of schedule; and has been part of integrating female participation in to all areas of Triathlon Ireland’s strategic plan.

At 36 per cent, Triathlon Ireland has one of the highest female participation rates of any sport in Ireland. At the 2019 Triathlon Ireland AGM, members voted overwhelmingly in favour of measures to increase the number of female Board members, while internationally, Triathlon Ireland has been a leading figure in the promotion of gender equality measures within the European Triathlon Union and International Triathlon Union.

The increase in support for the ‘Equally Inspiring’ programme followed a comprehensive review by Sport Ireland in line with the government’s National Sports Policy, and Sport Ireland’s own Women in Sport Strategy.

Following the review, Sport Ireland increased Triathlon Ireland’s women in sport funding from €15,000 per annum to €50,000 for each year in 2019 and 2020.

Funding had been €15,000 since 2016 and over this time Triathlon Ireland had invested a significant sum of its own funds to support staff and programme costs.

“We have had a fantastic increase in female participation and membership over the last couple of years with a targeted programme to encourage more women into triathlon,” said Triathlon Ireland CEO Chris Kitchen.

“This has been especially so at junior level where the balance is virtually 50/50 male/female. I want to thank Sport Ireland for the vote of confidence in our programme with the very welcome increase in our Women in Sport Funding.”

“This increase will mean that we can accelerate our plans for greater female participation across all areas. Triathlon Ireland has a passionate dedicated staff team which in itself is over 50% female, keen on driving the sport forward and in particular this agenda.”

Triathlon Ireland’s Women in Sport Lead, Anna Grealish says Triathlon Ireland’s aim is to integrate female participation in to the very fabric of the sport.

“Our vision for the next 18 months is to improve all areas of our sport for our female members. It’s not just focusing on participation in triathlon events, we want to increase the numbers of women involved in coaching, officiating and especially in leadership roles within clubs across the country.”

“Our aim is to help create role models for women and girls who aspire to do more within the sport of triathlon.”

Sport for Business Analysis:

Great to see coaching and leadership given equal priority to participation.  Both are two of the four pillars of the Women in Sport Policy adopted this year and moves like approving the increase of Board representation at the AGM create a clear path for greater diversity in the thought that goes into the sport at every level.