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Sport Ireland Welcome €65m Covid-19 Government Fund

It'll be delivered in five areas.

Sport Ireland has welcomed the announcement by Ministers Martin and Chambers of a €65 million additional funding for sport through a COVID-19 investment programme.

On the back of the announcement, Sport Ireland has invited applications from National Governing Bodies of Sport, Local Sports Partnerships and other funded bodies.

The fund will be delivered under five key schemes:

  1. A Field Sport Fund to support the FAI, the GAA and the IRFU
  2. A Resilience Fund to support the National Governing Bodies of Sport and other Sport Ireland Funded Bodies
  3. A Sports Club Resilience Fund
  4. A Swimming Pool & Facilities Fund
  5. A Fund to support the Resumption of Sport & Physical Activity

Commenting on the announcement Chairman of Sport Ireland Kieran Mulvey said:

 “While society and economy continues to recover after a difficult 18 months, many challenges still lay ahead for our National Governing Bodies, Local Sports Partnerships and sports clubs. We are grateful for the ongoing support of Minister Martin, Minister Chambers and their colleagues in Government, who have responded positively to the representations made by Sport Ireland and the wider sport sector. The funding announced by the Ministers provides certainty in planning and stability as the sport sector continues to reopen and we look forward with positivity and optimism as the sport at large gets back on its feet.” 

Chief Executive of Sport Ireland John Treacy added:

 “Research recently published by Sport Ireland shows club membership has remained strong during the pandemic, with the numbers participating in sport and physical activity increasing as the year goes on. That said, there are still considerable challenges ahead for sports organisations and clubs in encouraging all members and volunteers to return, as well as attracting new participants. The financial impact of the pandemic also continues to be a challenge for many, with losses and additional costs putting a strain on finances. That is why this injection of funding at all levels of sport is necessary and welcome. We thank Ministers Martin and Chambers and look forward to continuing our close working relationship with the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media, National Governing Bodies and Local Sports Partnership to get sport back on track.”

The funding announced today is in addition to funding provided previously to Sport Ireland in 2021. 

Overview of Funding Schemes:

Field Sport Fund to support the FAI, the GAA and the IRFU

Specific funding will be made available to support the financial losses incurred by the FAI, the GAA and the IRFU. 

A Resilience Fund to support the National Governing Bodies of Sport and other Sport Ireland Funded Bodies

Funding will be made available to the National Governing Bodies of Sport (NGBs), Local Sports Partnership (LSPs) and other funded bodies. Funding will be a direct response to each funded body’s specific needs.

A Sports Club Resilience Fund

A Resilience Fund will be made available to ensure Sports Clubs can continue to deliver sporting opportunities at a local level.  Funding will be distributed by Schemes established by the National Governing Bodies of Sport.      

Swimming Pool & Facilities Fund

Specific funding will be allocated to support the reopening and continued viability of Swimming Pools along with facilities of key strategic importance to National Governing Bodies.

Fund to support the Resumption of Sport & Physical Activity

A Restart Fund will be made available to support the return of sport and physical activity post Pandemic. 

Small Grants Scheme:

Through this scheme Local Sports Partnerships are encouraged to operate a local scheme for small clubs and community groups similar to the national club scheme. These schemes can in turn support community groups & clubs who may not be affiliated to a national organisation or recognised Governing Body but provide a vital local service. These grants would cover costs associated with COVID 19 and reopening. 

Disability Sector

Sport Ireland recognises the disproportionate impact of COVID 19 on people with a disability. It will ring-fence a proportion of the investment so that it is targeted directly at the disability sport sector.

Depending on demand across the schemes and the nature of the applications received, funding for the Disability Sport Sector may be drawn down from the NGB Fund and/or the Club Resilience Fund.    

Grassroots Restart Fund

NGBs & LSPs are invited to apply for funding to support the resumption of sport and physical activity.  Programmes targeting grassroots sport and underrepresented communities will be prioritised. Initiatives that support a return to Volunteering are also strongly encouraged.

Indoor Sport Fund

Specific funding will be ring-fenced to support the return of Indoor Sport. This investment recognises the disproportionate and unanticipated extent of COVID 19 Restrictions on their activities and the difficulties associated with resumption and a return to normal levels of activity.  

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